Podium success for GBR sailors at 420 & 470 Junior European Championships
Gold, silver and bronze for GBR sailors at 420 & 470 Junior European Championships
RYA Volvo National Youth Squad sailors Annabel Vose and Kirstie Urwin were crowned Ladies 420 Junior European Champions on the final day of racing in Riva, Italy (Friday 17 August), while Skandia Team GBR sailors enjoyed further podium glory in both the Men and Women’s 470 fleets.
Vose and Urwin, who claimed a bronze medal at the 2012 Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in July, posted their best results of the regatta on the final day of competition with an impressive 2-7 to secure 10th place overall in the Open fleet (boys and girls) and the 2012 420 Ladies Junior European Championship title, while Mike Wood and Hugh Brayshaw and Joanna Freeman and Katie Tomsett clinched a silver and bronze medal respectively in the men’s/mixed and women’s 470 events.
Vose and Urwin, both from Royal Lymington Yacht Club, had a consistent regatta posting seven top ten finishes across the 12 race series, including two second place finishes in race six and 12 to cement their position at the top of the ladies’ leaderboard.
On posting the second best points average across the whole fleet in their final two races of the regatta, Urwin said: “We just wanted to sail our own race, but be conservative with the German girls because we knew that they were fairly close behind us and didn't want them to overtake, so we kept an eye on them and made sure that they weren't splitting from us too much or could overtake us if they got a good shift."
The Bournemouth School for Girls student has only been sailing with Vose (420 helm) for 12 months and can’t quite believe the journey she has been on since their partnership began: “It is amazing! I have never raced at a 420 Junior Europeans, and before the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships I had never done a Worlds, so it is a completely new experience. I have loved sailing here."
Vose had decided not to enter the 420 class World Championships in Austria earlier this month, choosing to forego the opportunity to defend the World title she won with Megan Brickwood last year, and instead focussing on her campaign for the ISAF Youth Worlds, coming home with a bronze medal, and the Junior Europeans. She said: “The Open fleet was always going to be hard and I think we just had to race as well as we could and then approaching the end of the regatta we weren't looking at the Open results any more. The main thing was to get a medal and we were really focused on the ladies fleet. We are really happy with a top 10 overall result.”
On racing in an open fleet, Vose continued with a smile: “It is good to race with the boys occasionally to show them we are not as bad as they think we are. Especially in the windy conditions here, it is great to do so well!"
In the Men’s 470 event, Skandia Team GBR Transitional Squad sailors Wood and Brayshaw climbed the leaderboard throughout the course of the week to find themselves in fourth position overall entering the medal race showdown, with a six points separating third to fifth. With everything to play for, the GBR sailors clinched their third race win of the series in the deciding double pointer, catapulting them up the leaderboard by two places to clinch the silver medal.
Brayshaw said: “It was only at the finish that I realized we had won the silver and then there was sudden excitement, it was brilliant. This is the hardest fleet we have sailed in and the best we have done. We sailed in 420s for a few years together, but never got onto the podium and to have it now is really good.”
Freeman and Tomsett added to the GB medal haul in the Women’s 470 class following a medal race showdown with the Polish pair, Ewa Szczesna and Irmina Mrozek Gliszczynska. The Brits entered the medal race three points of the Polish boat, and more importantly the podium position, and after a tense battle, the GBR pair finished in third with the Polish team two places behind in fifth, securing the bronze medal by a single point.
Freeman said, “This is our performance of the year. We were aiming to get a medal and we managed it, so we are really happy. This is our best result so far since we have been sailing together.”
Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, added: “I am really delighted for Annabel and Kirstie winning the Junior European title, they have worked hard over the last 12 months principally towards the ISAF Youth Worlds, where they not only won a bronze medal but also contributed so much to the performance of the team helping RYA Volvo Team GBR to win the nations’ trophy. They could have sat back and dined out on that result for a while, but after a short break they bounced straight back with a fantastic result and a great end to their summer international events, we are all very proud of them.”
Meanwhile, RYA Volvo National Youth Squad sailors Callum Airlie and Joseph Butterworth finished 9th overall in the 420 boys fleet, while Jess Lavery and Georgie Mothersele finished 10th in the 420 ladies fleet (48th overall).
Truswell added: “Across the board it was a good performance by the whole team and its particularly pleasing to see the younger team of Airlie and Butterworth beginning to show their potential as a lot of the current generation of 420s will be moving on this year. I hope their performances will have inspired the next generation to work hard and set high standards of themselves so we can continue to deliver stand out performances.”
Barrie Edgington, Skandia Team GBR Development Squad Manager, added: “This event provides a great bridge between the 420 and the 470 senior international programme and is a great opportunity for our young teams to showcase their progress against their international peer group. It’s been another great set of results for our 470 female crews finishing with a medal and two top ten results, continuing their great showing in this particular event.
Edgington concluded: “It’s a fantastic result for the boys finishing with a silver medal considering they have only been in the 470 dinghy for a relatively short space of time. They must be absolutely overjoyed at this result, converting their first Junior championships into a medal is a great achievement.”
In the 470 fleet, Skandia Team GBR sailors Amy Seabright and Eilidh Mcintyre finished in fifth while Anna Burnet and Flora Stewart were sixth.
For more information and for full results from the 420 and 470 Junior European Champions please visit the event website.