HRH The Princess Royal, President of the RYA, is to attend the event on 6 April and will meet some of the young competitors taking part, before taking to the water to see them in action.
The 2005 RYA Youth Championships and Trials is one of the largest events in the RYA youth racing calendar. As well as identifying national youth champions, the event will also be used to select the GB ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships team, as well as to review the RYA National Youth Squad. The event will also be used to allocate grants for the summer international regattas.
The event will be particularly hard fought in the Laser, Laser Radial, 420, Mistral and Hobie 16 classes as these are the classes that will go on to compete at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships which take place in Busan, Korea, from 14-23 July.
The Youth Worlds, which is often dubbed the Youth Olympics, is a stepping stone onto the Olympic and professional sailing circuit, and a long list of world class sailors have all medalled at this event. Many of Britain's successful Athens 2004 Olympic Team are past youth world's medallists including Yngling gold medallist Sarah AYTON, double Olympic gold medallist Ben AINSLIE, Olympic 49er bronze medallist Chris DRAPER, 470 silver medallist Nick ROGERS and Mistral bronze medallist Nick DEMPSEY.
A top panel of selectors appointed by the RYA, comprising of Chairman Stuart CHILDERLEY, who won gold at the 1984 Youth Worlds in the Laser, David CAMPBELL-JAMES and Zeb ELLIOT, will be observing the racing over the course of the week, in order to select the best team to represent Great Britain at the 2005 Youth Worlds as well as to review the RYA National Youth Squad. They will also receive input from the coaches and class training officers.
The aim behind the event is to have fun and to make it educational. Therefore there is an extensive social programme for the week, which includes a quiz night, an inspirational talk from Olympic medallist Chris DRAPER and on the final evening, a prize giving, party and ceilidh. As an educational event there will be coach debriefs each evening from top coaches Adam BOWERS, Harvey HILLARY, Matt HOWARD and Helen CARTWRIGHT, as well as open protests and a roving protest and redress advisor.
Event Director and RYA Youth Racing Manager Simon WERGAN commented, 'I am delighted to see how the entry for this event has grown. Last time we were here in Largs we had 159 boats competing, and now this has gone up and we have an additional 50-60 boats entered. I hope that everyone enjoys some good close racing and a fun social programme, and the fact that we have a Royal visit reflects the quality of this event.'
Racing commences today and continues through until Friday 8 April. Largs Sailing Club is situated at Largs Yacht Haven, just two miles south of the resort of Largs on the Firth of Clyde.