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14 April 2005, 01:11 pm
Team GB
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Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2005
Busan, Korea

In the first of a new series we take a look at some of the teams who will be starring at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Busan, Korea from 14-23 July.
No nation won more medals in the 2004 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship than Great Britain, who walked away with two gold and three bronze medals at the end of the competition in Gydnia, Poland. However it was the French Team that claimed the Volvo Trophy for the most successful nation, with their more consistent performances, especially in the windsurfing events, ultimately outdoing the British.

Past Success

Great Britain is one of only four nations (the others being Australia, the Netherlands and Sweden) to have competed in every ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship since the inaugural event in Angelholm, Sweden in 1971. Next year the British will be hosting the Championship for the third time, but for now all minds are focussed on 2005.

With 16 gold medals, only one nation, Australia, has more ISAF Youth Sailing World Champions than the British. Overall they lie fourth in the medal table, behind Australia, New Zealand and France. Along with these three they are one of only four nations to have won the Volvo Trophy.

Near, But Yet So Far

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No one illustrates the step from Youth to
Olympic success better than Ben AINSLIE
© Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
For sailing speculators it would perhaps be interesting to note that all of Britain's Olympic Champions in those two previous Olympic Games, Iain PERCY, Ben AINSLIE and Shirley ROBERTSON, have graduated from the Team GB ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship Team. With 2004 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship medallists like Nick THOMPSON and Charlotte DOBSON already producing impressive results on the senior circuit (a tenth and second place respectively in the ISAF Grade 2 Princess Sofia Trophy) the future looks bright for Britain's 2008 and 2012 Olympic campaigns.

Whilst the senior British Team has been the most successful nation in the last two Olympic Games, winning five golf medals, the Youth Team has had plenty of success in individual events, but has not won the Volvo Trophy since their back to back triumphs in 1995 and 1996. A run of third and fourth places since the Championship in Sydney, Australia in 2000 finally came to an end with their impressive performance last year. Come July, Team GB will be aiming to go one better and emulate their older country mates.

Team GB 2005

The team for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2005 was selected after the RYA Youth Championship sailed at Largs in Scotland, a venue that has twice hosted the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship (in 1975 and 1991). The only Team members who remain from the 2004 Team are Tom PHIPPS and Jon COOK. They are the reigning Champions in the Hobie 16 in the multihull open event, although they only just qualified for the Championship this year, winning in Largs by a single point from Ben MANSFIELD and Ben HINKS.

The single-handed dinghy for boys raced in the Laser Standard has been a successful event for the British in recent years with Nick THOMPSON taking the gold medal last year, whilst Mark POWELL won in 2001. Giles SCOTT showed the sort of form that could repeat these victories by sweeping to nine out of ten race wins in Largs to secure his place in the Team.

With Charlotte DOBSON's move to the senior circuit the Laser Radial berth in the single-handed dinghy for girls event was wide open. In an open fleet Alison YOUNG finished second overall behind Max HOLLOWAY to book her place on the plane to Korea.

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Giles SCOTT was perhaps most
impressive of all at Largs
© Marc Turner
The double-handed dinghy event has been another British success story in recent Championships especially for the girls where Pippa WILSON and Hariette TRIMBLE took bronze last year and gold in 2002. Filling their berth this year is Hannah MILLS and Peggy WEBSTER, whilst in the boys' event Tom MALINDALE and James CLARK will be flying the British flag.

In the windsurfer events the GB Team has experience on it's side with Peter BIRD and Beth WILLIAMSON both having competed at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship before. BIRD was eighth in Madeira, Portugal in 2003 whilst WILLIAMSON was a part of the successful 2004 Team coming tenth last year.

With the likes of AINSLIE and ROBERTSON winning Olympic gold medals, World Championships and other accolades left, right and centre, success has been something the British have come to expect of their sailors in recent years. 2004 was a great year for Team GB at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship but that elusive Volvo Trophy still slipped from their grasp. With the senior team's success in Athens still fresh in their minds, ten young British sailors will be aiming for that little bit extra in Korea this July.

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