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5 April 2005, 09:19 am
All Afloat On The Firth Of Clyde
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RYA Youth Championships 2005
Largs, Scotland, Great Britain

The first day of the RYA Youth Championships and Trials saw close racing and mixed weather as all the fleets enjoyed three races in fresh breezes.
The best scores of the day came from Ben MANSFIELD and Ben HINKS in the Hobie 16 class. The pairing from the Royal Southern Yacht Club had a clean sweep on the opening day of the championships, scoring three first places to take an early lead in the fleet. Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Champions in 2004, Tom PHIPPS and Jon COOK from Restronguet Sailing Club finished the day second overall and tied on equal points with fellow club members Sam NEWTON and Nick TAYLER.

The 29er fleet finished their final race, which was abandoned, in a hailstorm and the fleet was relieved to reach the shore. At the front of the fleet on day one were Ed CHAPMAN and Tom PEEL from Rutland Sailing Club, who were victorious in two of the three races. The remaining race was won by Justin VISSER and Simon WHEELER representing the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. To this victory they added two second places meaning they fell just behind CHAPMAN and PEEL to take second overall. A consistent score of three fourth place finishes placed Huw HUMPHRIES and Max TODD from Holyhead Sailing Club third overall.

VISSER said, 'We had a pretty good day today but we did make some mistakes. We won the first race, which we followed up with two seconds and then we were going well in the final race of the day before it was abandoned. The wind has been quite up and down today and has been pretty tiring. But we are pleased with the start that we have made as the standard of the fleet is very high, especially in the top half.'

Local sailor Peter BIRD had the winning edge in the Mistral windsurfing class and used his local knowledge to his advantage. Winning the first and third race of the day, he took an early four point lead over Richard HAMILTON from North Lincs & Humberside Sailing Club.

Chris HIGHAM, representing Bosworth Water Trust, won two out of three races in the MJOD 6.6 windsurfing class to lead the class by one point after the first day. Nothing worse than a second place put Peter FEY of Bewl Valley Sailing Club second with Anthony SCALES, also from Bewl Valley, third overall.

With 104 boats in the Laser Radial class and sailing taking place in four fleets in order to determine the gold fleet that will go on to race for the championships, the opening day was a tense affair. After three races it was Alison YOUNG from Trimpley Sailing Club that came out on top. Winning two out of three races, she takes an early lead in the class from Govan BERRIDGE of Neyland Sailing Club.

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Hannah MILLS and Peggy WEBSTER
lead the 420 class in race one

Tom MALINDINE and James CLARK from Corus Sailing Club got off to a good start in the highly competitive 420 class. The only pairing in the fleet to post three results inside the top five meant that they topped the leaderboard after day one from Loch Morlich Sailing Club members Fynn STERRITT and Matthew DAY. Hannah MILLS and Peggy WEBSTER gave the boys a good run for their money, winning the first race before suffering gear failure, however this still places them fifth overall and first girl team.

MILLS commented on the day, 'We sailed well in the first race and were really pleased to win it. Unfortunately our jib strop broke in the second race and we finished further down the fleet. It was pretty gusty and shifty and ideally we would have liked it about ten knots lighter but it was not a bad start to the event.'

After returning from the Princess Sofia Trophy with a sixth place under his belt, Giles SCOTT from Grafham Water Sailing Club continued his good form in the Laser standard fleet. Winning two out of the three races places him first overall, two points in front of Luke BREEN-TURNER. James ROYSTON from Bewl Valley also sailed a consistent day to finish in third place overall.

Once the competitors had come ashore, amidst hailstones, they enjoyed a coach debrief by some of the countries top dinghy coaches, before continuing their competitive streak as they battled it out in the quiz night.

The championship continues through until Friday 8 April.

Sacha Oswald (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Racing Is Tight In The Lasers:© RYA
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