In rain and heavy winds competitors lined the beech of Pwllheli, anxiously waiting for the wind to drop. At lunch time a major shift in direction killed the breeze from thirty knots down to 7, allowing race organisers to send the 300 competitors afloat.
After preparing themselves mentally and physically for a tough day battling large waves and a brisk breeze, competitors had to change their approach and launched at mid afternoon into a light westerly wind.
Despite such a late start, race organisers were determined to sail all the scheduled races for the day. The Mistrals were first to return home and Peter BIRD, who is establishing himself as a light airs specialist, had regained the lead from Richard POTTER. However RYA youth selectors have a tough decision as only two points separate Potter and Bird and in the girls fleet Steph THOMPSON in sixth overall is only one point ahead from Laura BRAY.
In the 29er fleet the results paint a different picture and Tristan JAQUES and Alain SIGN from Stokes Bay now have nine wins from the eleven races sailed. Going into the last day they have established a thirty three point lead from James STEWARDSON and Tom MORRIS from Ullswater, who by no means have second place secure. Justin VISSER and Simon WHEELER from Lymington are only two points behind in third after winning race ten.
Similarly in the Hobie 16 class Tom PHIPPS and Jon COOK from Restronguet are dominating the fleet discarding a second as their worst result. The pair have only been sailing for a year but attending the same school the pair have been training hard leading up to the event and have their sights set firmly on the international circuit. Fifteen points behind are Simon KEARNS and Ben BURNS are in second place.
Racing is much tighter in the 420 fleet and the battle of the sexes is building to a climax going into the last day. Despite shredding their spinnaker and having to discard a thirty third Pippa WILSON and Harriette TRUMBLE from Lymington are first, although are equal on twenty three points with Jonathan MCGOVERN and Stuart BITHELL from Hollingworth Lake.
In the Laser Radial, the largest class of 97 boats that are split into a gold and silver league, Richard MCCULLOUGH from Balyholme is leading having stolen the lead from Sean EVANS who now lies in sixth. Only six points behind in second is Andy mckee from Dovestone and despite dropping down the rankings from second to fourth, Colette BLAIR from Bewl Valley remains first girl. With an incredibly narrow point margin the race to become RYA Youth Champion 2004 is wide open.
RYA youth selectors have one day left before they announce the RYA British team for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2004 in Poland in July. Reaching and even winning the event is the pinnacle of youth sailing and past names like Olympic gold medallists Ben AINSLIE and Iain PERCY have all qualified through the RYA Youth Championships and Trials to represent their country. The pressure is now on as sailors enter the last day of the championships.
Full results are available on the event website via the link below.