AFLOAT: Castle Cove duo fly in Spitfire at Youth Championships

CHALLENGING: The 29er fleet at the Youth Championships

CHALLENGING: The 29er fleet at the Youth Championships

First published in Sport by , Afloat

THIS week the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy has been playing host to some of the top British youth sailing talent.

They have been competing in the Youth National Champion-ships and have been joined by teams from Ireland, New Zealand and Serbia.

The event has attracted a record entry with 278 boats and more than 300 sailors.

The conditions have been mixed with the lack of wind on Monday meaning that the 134- strong Laser fleet, by far the largest one in the competition spent six hours on the water but only completed one race.

The seven-strong Spitfire fleet and 29ers also spent a similar amount of time on the water but at least completed two races.

The windy conditions on Tuesday and Wednesday brought other challenges and many of the sailors returned from long days on the water tired and cold.

Local sailors in the event have been performing well.

Sam Barker and Ross Mcfar-lane from Castle Cove, sailing a Spitfire, have been putting in consistently good performances and achieved three first places on day two and three second places on day three putting them in a strong position for the remainder of the competition.

James Bishop, also from CCSC, has also had some good performances and got into the gold fleet for the final three days of the competition.

Weymouth Sailing Club have also been well represented on the water with Emma Stevenson making it into the gold fleet and Cory Ronayne sailing well and achieving a mid-fleet position in the silver fleet.

Alexandra Stevenson, 14, also from WSC, was competing in her first major national competition.

Having only recently started sailing a Laser Radial, she is in the silver fleet.

She said: I’ve enjoyed the event and have learnt a lot. “In addition to the sailing, a good part was having the daily talks from Olympic sailors: Stuart Bithell, Nick Dempsey and Hannah Mills but the very best bit was seeing Paul Goodison (Laser Olympian) on the water sailing his moth.”

Weymouth Sailing Club was also represented on the committee and in the safety boats.

Today is the final day of racing.

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