After five days of racing at the 2013 RYA Youth National Championships, selectors for RYA Volvo Team GBR, led by Double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton OBE, who won silver for Great Britain at the 1998 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in the Laser Radial, have announced the 12 sailors who will represent Great Britain at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships 2013.
The names of the sailors who will travel to Limassol, Cyprus from the 11-20 July 2013 to defend the ISAF Youth Worlds Nations Trophy which RYA Volvo Team GBR won last year in Dublin Bay were revealed at the prize-giving of the RYA Youth National Championships earlier today.
Leading the charge for the British Team will be the 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds gold medallist Saskia Sills. The 16-year-old Cornish windsurfer, who won the event on her debut in Dublin in 2012 as well the U17 European title and silver at her class World Championships in Penghu, Chinese Taipei, last summer, dominated the female windsurfing fleet in Scotland to gain selection for a second consecutive year.
“It’s brilliant to be selected for a second consecutive year, obviously the ISAF Youth Worlds last year was a really big learning curve for me and was a really good experience so I really wanted to be selected again.”
“At the start of the week the competition was tough for selections but once I got a bit of a lead I started to relax and really enjoyed the racing.”
With Sills determined to defend her ISAF Youth Worlds crown, the windsurfer realises that there is some work to be done between now and the event in Cyprus.
“My speed in 11-12 knots isn’t as quick as what I want it to be so I want to improve on that. I have heard rumours that Cyprus will be quite a light wind venue so I’ll be looking at my light wind pumping and aiming to improve that.”
“I think the door is wide open this year because last year the girl that had won the previous year finished third so it obviously shows that anything can happen. I’m just going to go into the event and concentrate on my process goals and hopefully the outcome will be the one I want. It’s still very scary but I’m really looking forward to racing against the best people in the world.”
Adding to the calibre of RYA Volvo Team GBR is Kieran Martin who was one of the first to cement his position in this year’s team as the 18-year-old recorded an impressive 11 race wins at the RYA Youth National Championships.
“It feels really great, I came here with the only intention to get selected for the ISAF Youth Worlds team. I have had a really great week here at Largs Sailing Club and it feels great to be back apart of RYA Volvo Team GBR and amongst the countries best sailors,” said Martin.
Winning silver medals at the 2012 RS:X Youth Worlds Championships and 2012 RS:X European Championships in 2012, the Carsington Water Sailing Club teenager has his sights set on bettering his result at the 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds in Dublin.
“Last year I made a few silly mistakes and paid the price. I feel as though I have now learnt from those mistakes, matured as a competitor and am now ready to go back to the Youth Worlds and make amends for my result in 2012.”
Ellie Meopham joins Sills and Martin as one of four sailors from RYA Volvo Team GBR who have competed at the prestigious event in 2012. Meopham made it easy for selectors as she stole the show in Laser Radial class by not only finishing top girl but dominating from start to finish and topping the overall leaderboard by a staggering 30 points.
“It’s a relief! It is really nice and I’m really happy but it’s definitely a relief,” expressed Meopham.
“The Youth Worlds is such a prominent event within the world of Sailing with so many great sailors having competed at the event over the years. To even mention the word Olympian in this context and just talking about being associated with them is incredible and such a great feeling!
Meopham finished fourth at the event in Dublin Bay last year and is fully aware of what to expect this time around.
“There are so many things I learnt last year which have definitely improved my sailing over the past 12 months. I went to Dublin expecting nothing and I got an incredible experience so this year I am going to go and know exactly how much I’m going to learn and that is a hell of a lot!
Joining Meopham in the Laser Radial is fellow Welsh sailor Thomas Williams who will be making his event debut at the 2013 event.
In the two person dinghy class for both boys and girls at the event, 420 crews Tim Riley/Luke Burywood and Annabel Cattermole/Bryony-Bennett Lloyd will make up RYA Volvo Team GBR’s contenders. Both crews will be making their event debuts, however both have had a positive run of results in the build-up to the RYA Youth National Championships. With an inspiring performance in Scotland, and with Cattermole/ Bennett Lloyd finishing third, the newcomers will be valued members of RYA Volvo Team GBR.
“It’s a fantastic feeling, we have been working towards it for two and a half years and its finally come round and we are really excited,” said Cattermole.
Bennett Lloyd added: “Watching the 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth and Portland this year was really inspiring and to think that might be us in several years’ time as we are following in Olympians footsteps is unbelievable.”
“We will be doing lots of fitness over the next few months in the build-up to the event, working on the arms to try and build them up for the pumping in Cyprus and training really hard with start lines especially. That is something we really need to work on as I think as we have been spat out a few times this week,” concluded Bennett Lloyd.
Ben Batten will make up the foursome of returning RYA Volvo Team GBR sailors with the Lymington based sailor going for gold and glory with his new helm Mimi El-Khazindar.
“It feels really good to be selected, said Batten. “It’s been a big goal for us for the last six months. I went to the Youth Worlds last year and didn’t do as well as I wanted so it’s great to get another opportunity to have another go at those goals, it’s great!”
“There are so many famous names on the trophy, lots of famous names of people who have won medals and are still winning medals at Olympic level so just to be on the same track as them is a great feeling.”
Rounding of the line-up for RYA Volvo Team GBR are the Spitfire duo of James Henson/Olivier Greber. The pair have battled with 2012 ISAF Youth worlds gold medallist Tom Britz over the past five days taking it right down to the wire in the final race of the day. With the pair posting five bullets and only missing out on the U21 title point, the duo will be the ones to watch out for in the SL16 class in Cyprus.
Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, said: “I am delighted to welcome the members of RYA Volvo Team GBR 2013 to an exclusive club, they have a great opportunity to not only to represent GBR at one of the most prestigious sailing events in the world but also to learn a huge amount and have a fantastic experience. We have a great mix of veterans from last year’s events and new debutants who are sailing fast and have every potential of achieving at this year’s event. Once again the team are supported by Volvo Car UK and clothed by Henri Lloyd, I am extremely grateful for their continued support to Youth Sailing in the UK.”
For the full list of results from the RYA Youth National Championships 2013 visit www.ryaracingevents.org.uk.
RYA Volvo Team GBR Squad for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships 2013:
Boys: Tim Riley (Warsah SC)/Luke Burywood (Lymington Town & HISC)
Girls: Annabel Cattermole (Welwyn Garden City SC)/Bryony-Bennett Lloyd (Hickling Broad SC)
Mimi El-Khazindar (Royal Lymington YC) and Ben Batten (Lymington Town SC)
Boys: Kieran Martin (Carsington Water SC)
Girls: Saskia Sills (Roadford Lake SC)
Boys: Thomas Williams(Shotwick SC)
Girls: Ellie Meopham (Fishguard Bay SC)
James Henson (Weston SC )/Olivier Greber (Pevensey Bay SC)