Lambeth rule the waves at London Youth Games
160 sailors take to the water at the Royal Victoria Docks
It was victory once again for the Borough of Lambeth when they retained their title at this year’s 2012 Balfour Beatty London Youth Games, held at the Royal Victoria Docks on 09 June.
Some 160 youngsters aged from eight to 17 years from the 26 London Boroughs competing, took to the water in the blustery weather to battle it out for the winner’s trophy.
Disabled sailors, including visually impaired youngsters, were able to compete in the games for the very first time with the introduction of Access 2.3 class.
Lambeth triumphed in both the Access 2.3 and Feva mixes classes to claim Gold once again with rivals Tower Hamlets placed second for the second year running and Hackney moving up five places on 2011 to win a deserved bronze.
Lambeth’s proud Team Manager Richard Sheridan said: “It’s been a few years in the making, winning it last year and then being able to retain the title this year. It’s a massive achievement to be honest.“I’d like to give recognition to all the parents, without them none of this is possible. This year with Lambeth winning and Tower Hamlets coming runners up that has been the same for the last two years.”
Grace Bradley-Shankar (14) who claimed second in the Pico class said: “It felt great to be out on the water competing in these games once again. The wind conditions were good and challenging at points during the day and competition was tough especially in the top three.
“Winning a race felt amazing as we were up against good competitors and it was tough to stay up right. I really enjoyed the day and to top it off I came second”.
As well as all the youngsters competing at the regatta there was an army of some 60 volunteers behind the scene without whom the regatta is impossible including RYA qualified powerboat drivers, instructors and sailing coaches, some of whom had travelled as far afield as Southampton and Northampton.
RYA Sailing Development Officer for London, Steve Mitchell says: “The London Youth Games Thames Water Regatta is a fantastic event in the London Sailing Calendar that really illustrates the work taking place at the grass root level here in London.
"Many of the youngsters competing are linked to the RYA OnBoard and Volvo Champion Club programmes and we were delighted to welcome visually impaired and disabled sailors to the competition. The focus here is that we begin to develop a pool of young sailors who we can feed into our Olympic and Paralympic classes”.
Thank you to RS who kindly offered prizes to the winning teams and have supported the London Youth Games Thames Water Regatta since its introduction five years ago.
For more information about the London Youth Games visit http://www.londonyouthgames.org/