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8 April 2005, 09:15 am
Wild And Windy On Penultimate Day
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RYA Youth Championships 2005
Largs, Scotland, Great Britain

Tough conditions made for tight racing on day four of the RYA Youth Championships and Trials. With one day remaining competition is fierce amongst the young sailors battling for the top spots and a place in the GBR Team for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2005 in Korea.
Day four of the RYA Youth Championships and Trials brewed wild and windy even before the competitors had left the shore, and the race committee were keen to get the competitors in and out as quickly as possible due to a forecast of increased breeze.

The three course areas were set closer to shore allowing a great viewing from Largs Sailing Club balcony of the racing as well as a few unfortunate capsizes.

The Laser Radial class were the only fleet to manage two races before the wind reached 30 knots and the race committee decided it was time to call it a day.

Like yesterday, the challenge was to stay upright and avoid breakages and despite a broken tiller in the final race of the day, Max HOLLOWAY from Mudeford Sailing Club managed two third place finishes in the Laser Radial class, which kept him in the lead going into the final day of racing.

HOLLOWAY commented, 'I got two third places today which I am pretty pleased with although I was leading the second race until I capsized and broke my tiller extension which was a bit annoying, but I am pleased that I managed to get two good results.'

In the windy conditions Alison YOUNG sailed well in the Radial fleet to score two fifth place finishes, which keeps her in second place overall and puts her in a strong position for Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship GBR Team selection as the event goes into the final day. Sarah WILLIAMS from Port Dinorwic Sailing Club is the next best placed girl in thirteenth, in front of seventeenth placed Rosie CHAPMAN. However, with additional races to be sailed tomorrow there is still plenty to play for prior to the selection committee making any decisions.

One race was enough for the eleven boat Hobie 16 fleet and there was plenty of action out on their course. The race win went to Ben MANSFIELD and Ben HINKS from the Royal Southern Yacht Club, who managed to keep their boat upright to take their fifth race win of the championship. Tom PHIPPS and Jon COOK took second place and were pleased to finish just behind the race leaders.

PHIPPS explained, 'We were happy with a second place today as it was pretty hard conditions and we decided to sail conservatively as we only had a small lead. The last few days the wind has built and we have enjoyed the conditions. We have spent quite a lot of time training over the winter months with the others [MANSFIELD and HINKS] in windy conditions and I think this is paying for us now.'

This result gives PHIPPS and COOK a one point lead over MANSFIELD and HINKS going into the final day and all eyes will be on these two pairings as to who will take the national title and win the ticket to Busan, Korea, for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2005.

The Laser class managed one race before being sent back to shore, and with the results that he has already clocked up this week it came as no surprise that Giles SCOTT, from Grafham Water Sailing Club, went on to score his eighth race win of the series. Discarding his worst result, a second place, he has a commanding lead over second placed Luke BREEN-TURNER and will be hoping that he has done enough to win his place in the GBR Team for Korea.

SCOTT commented, 'It was pretty scary conditions out there today but quite enjoyable! I managed to overtake Luke [BREEN-TURNER] on the first downwind leg and managed not to capsize to win the race which I was pleased with.'

Selection for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2005 was also on the forefront of many sailors minds in the 420 fleet. Hannah MILLS and Peggy WEBSTER got off to a great start in far from their ideal conditions and managed to establish a good lead on the fleet before capsizing, which dropped them down to 34th. Their persistence paid off and they continue to lead the girl's fleet from Maria STANLEY and Catherine ALTON from Oxford Sailing Club.

In the boy's fleet, Fynn STERRITT and Matthew DAY from Loch Morlich Sailing Club excelled in the windy conditions and scored their first race win of the week. Overall leaders Tom MALINDINE and James CLARK, from Corus Sailing Club, managed a fifth place which they discarded, and continue to lead the fleet by eleven points from Richard MASON and Dan SCHIEBER of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. Tomorrow will see all three of these teams locked in battle to try and win their seat on the plane to Korea.

The final places in the GBR Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship Team will be made up with two windsurfers, a male and female Mistral sailor. The windy conditions suited local sailor Peter BIRD and he scored his fifth race win of the week. With Richard HAMILTON just three points behind after scoring a third place today, the final days racing will be crucial, not only to determine the national champion, but to determine who will win the coveted spot in the team.

BIRD said, 'I had a good race today and really enjoyed the conditions. I like it when the wind gets up and as I am a little heavier now it really helps. I managed to lead the race from start to finish. I was the first to round the windward mark and managed to extend my lead throughout the race.'

The battle for the female place in the team is between Beth WILLIAMSON from Southport and Laura BRAY from Astbury Sailsports. BRAY closed the points gap today after scoring a sixth, but with two points between them, there will be all to play for tomorrow.

In the 6.6 windsurfer class, there was a different winner in the windy conditions and Kim JISKOOT from Bewl Valley Sailing Club scored his first race win of the week. However, a second place for Bosworth Water Trust's Chris HIGHAM continues to place him first overall, six points in front of Peter FEY from Bewl Valley Sailing Club.

Sacha Oswald (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action From Day Four:© Marc Turner
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