Erin Watson was
today crowned RS:X youth national champion for the second year running as Isaac
Lines scooped the coveted title in the boys’ fleet for the first time.
Watson, 18, dominated the girls’ fleet at the three-day regatta in Portland
Harbour, Dorset, notching up four wins over the eight races and only finishing
outside of the top two twice.
Lines, 18, from
Dunoon, had an equally successful regatta with three race wins and four seconds
to his name to improve on the third overall he scored at the 2017 RYA Youth
regatta saw a record fleet of 28 sailors – 14 girls and 14 boys all under 21 -
battle it out in a range of testing conditions from light winds on the opening
day to stronger breeze and driving rain for the finale.
(Loch Insh, pictured below) and Lines (Toward Sailing Club) led their respective divisions after
the first day before thick fog prevented any racing on the second day, but as
the action recommenced today in chilly 15-knot winds both titles were still up
younger sister Islay, 17, started the regatta on a high after winning bronze at
the BIC Techno European championships last week, and was a constant threat to
A win in the
final race of the event brought the younger Watson to within touching distance
of her older sibling but it wasn’t enough to snatch the overall victory.
“It’s great to
win again,” Erin said. “The wind has been really shifty and gusty over the last
few days so I’ve concentrated on playing the races right rather than speed.
I’ve just got back from Palma where I was doing my first senior event, and it just
goes to show that the coaching and tips we got there really do work.”
second overall and also claimed the top spot in the under 19 division, while
Hayling Island’s Alysia Gibson (HISC) took third overall with a display of
consistency that saw her finish every race but one inside the top six.
(WPNSA) was crowned overall winner in the under 17 category, while Lily Young
(WPNSA) was the only other girl to win a race.
In the boys’
fleet Finn Hawkins (Porthpean Sailing Club) pushed Lines all the way to the end
of the regatta, and was only denied the overall title by the racing rules which
allow sailors to discard their worst race result.
a 15th place finish while Hawkins could only discard a fourth, so
while Hawkins’ total score was less than Lines’ his net score was higher by
“I’m ecstatic –
so happy,” Lines (pictured above) said. “The racing today was amazing despite the rain and cold.
Everyone was pushing really hard. We had great wind, I sailed really well and
managed to hold onto my lead. I couldn’t have had more fun. This win means a
lot – I’ve been pushing for this title for a while now and I’m so glad to
finally get it.”
only took second overall but also the under 17 and under 19 titles, with Ethan
Moody (OSC) claiming third overall.
A final day
comeback from Weymouth’s Josh Carey (WPNSA) saw him win two of the four races
and finish fourth in the other two to rocket up the leaderboard, but he missed
the podium by two points.
Tim Hall, the
event director of the RS:X Youth Nationals, said: “The regatta was an
overwhelming success – we had a record fleet engaging in close racing in a
range of conditions.
“Our thanks go
to everyone who made the event possible, from the sailors to the race
management team, the support staff and our excellent volunteers.”
As well as
determining the RS:X youth national champions, the regatta will also be used to
select two athletes to represent Great Britain at the Youth World Championships
in Corpus Christi, Texas, from July 14-22.
about the full British Youth Sailing Team line-up will be made in the coming
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from the 2018 RS:X Youth National Championships can be found here.