Thirty three scots competed among the 379 sailors in an array of conditions on the waters of Hayling Island, with 3 overall class wins of the 12 youth classes.  

In the RS:X windsurfing Andy Brown and Erin Watson won their respective boys and girls titles, while Anna Sturrock from Loch Tummel, sailing with Bella Fellows lifted the girls 29er class title.

The RS:X fleet seemed to have a “Scots Only” sign on it, as every race was won by a Scot. Andy Brown from Largs SC stole the show not only in the RS:X fleet but also in the championship, counting an unprecedented 12-bullets to end his week with the lowest possible points. This gives Brown, who been training with the Podium Potential Pathway squad, his second Youth Nationals title.

“It feels fantastic to have won again. It’s been challenging and I’ve been pushed by everyone at points but it’s been great,” he said. “I’ve learnt a lot from it, so it’s been a good week.” A special mention should go to third placed Isaac Lines of Toward Sailing Club, the only person to break Andy Brown’s winning streak by winning race 5.

It was a second gold for Scottish windsurfers as Erin Watson from Loch Insh, who took the girls’ title. The regatta finished with her sister Islay Watson finishing third and gaining another Scottish medal.

After crossing the line and securing her title, Watson smiled: “It was a really good event and I’m really happy with how it went. It’s been light winds most of the time which are my sort of conditions, but we’ve also had a range with new conditions to work in which has been really fun.”

The Scots 29ers had a great event with 5 teams making the journey South. Two teams made the gold fleet and three contending in the silver fleet. Gregor and Rory Angus seemed to really enjoy the conditions coming of the water with beaming smiles each day saying how much they had enjoyed the week.

It was an agonising wait for Bella Fellows (Yealm YC) and Anna Sturrock (Loch Tummel SC) as they crossed the line not knowing whether they had done enough to take the girls’ title, but as results came through on the sail in, their title was confirmed.

An elated, but surprised Fellows said: “It feels really good to have won, we didn’t really expect it but really happy.” Sturrock continued: “It feels amazing to have won. It’s been great to meet up with everyone and have some good racing”.

“Anna and Bella continued their progression really growing in confidence as the week went on and to take the Gold in the 29er girls with both silver and bronze places having more experience was a great result for the pair.” Commented Tim Ellis, RYA Scotland Performance Manager.

The Lasers had some truly tight fleet racing with nearly 100 boats across the Laser full rig, the Radial Boys and the Radial Girls. Christine Wood from Clyde Cruising Club, competing in her 2nd Youth Champs took a race win on the final day finishing 17th with Catie Warburton in her first Youths really doing well and was snapping at Christine’s heels as was Molly Tullet in her first Youths as a Laser Radial Sailor.  

The Radial boys also had some good racing with Andrew Homer showing glimpses of his class posting a 4th and an 11th during in his first Youths with Iain Duncan just behind him, both showing what could come from them in the future.  

Lewis Smith finished overall 12th in the full rig class  with Alistair Higgins finishing as 5th Under 19 in the class.

The 420s also had a strong Scottish contingent with four boats competing, including Callum Bell and Josh Hale, Emily Biggar and Ana Scougall, Ruben Stokroos and Conal Scott all competing in their first Youth Championships and really showing that there is a bright future for Scottish 420 sailing.   Niamh Harper and Tom Wallwork did a sterling job finishing 10th and qualifying for the Junior and Open Europeans Teams in Greece and Italy later this summer.

A significant amount of Scottish Officials supported RYA by managing the racing for the 62 strong fleet on the 29er race course. The team was made up of 14 volunteers from Largs Sailing Club, Aberdeen & Stonehaven YC, Clyde Cruising Club, Annandale SC, sportscotland’s team from Cumbrae and the Scottish Sailing Institute and was also ably supported by some parents from the Scottish 29er fleet.   Kate Bird of Clyde Windsurfing Club was one of the key officials on the RS:X and Techno race course, who enjoyed a full programme of races.  

29er Course Race Officer David Kent of the Scottish Sailing Institute said. “The event was very successful overall and it was great to be a part of it. On our race area a sea breeze fighting with a gradient wind from a different direction kept us on our toes on most of the days. We saw some very large windshifts at times but the team responded extremely well allowing what I think was the best possible racing for the competitors.   “All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable week, with a team that was a pleasure to work with - thanks everyone! The icing on the cake was to find out at the end of the event that quite a few of the Scottish sailors had fantastic results. We look forward to welcoming the whole fleet to Largs next spring.”

Full results online here.

Watch the  highlights and  action on RYA YouTube Channel.

For further information on the event please visit the RYA Youth National Championships website or find out more about the performance aspects of RYA Scotland here.