The third of day of the RYA Youth National Championships (8-14 April) brought it with it a change of pace as gusts reaching over 20 knots and choppy waves challenged the fleets.
Young talents await a royal audience tomorrow (13 April) as HRH The Princess Royal attends the penultimate day of racing at Hayling Island. Whilst many sailors will look to consolidate their positions, others will hope to turn the tables on the leaders as the race to the podium closes in.
Watch highlights of the day on the RYA YouTube.
Whilst six boats were black-flagged in the first race of the day, Jack Cookson took advantage posting another race win followed by two thirds to see him jump to the top of the Laser leaderboard.
Cookson said: “It was a pretty good day, won the first race, then a solid 3,3 in the next two. Unfortunately I couldn’t catch Sam on the last two!”
“It was really fun out there, a little more wind than forecast, not too shifty, big waves, so all in all a really good day,” explained Cookson.
Dan Whiteley slips to second while Sam Whaley made amends for his black-flagged first race, winning the last two races to end the day third.
Whaley described his day: “Unfortunately I got a black flag in the first race which wasn’t ideal so had to sit the race out, but then I got two bullets which I’m really happy about.
“We had lovely sailing conditions, 10-15 knots and waves downwind which you could really play in and managed to bring it home,” he added.
Over in the girls’ fleet, Stokes Bay’s Chloe Barr clung on to her lead taking a bullet in the second race of the day. Daisy Collingridge sits second for her efforts. Revelling in the wind and waves was Clementine Thompson posting three seconds to see her advance to third on the scoresheet.
Collingridge, sitting one point adrift from the top spot, commented: “It was really nice to sail in breeze and have something different to sail in. Downwind was really fun, trying to get down the waves and keep the boat moving.
“It’s been an interesting week with no one really dominating the fleet, it’s been changing all the time so it’s kept it really interesting,” the 17-year-old concluded.
After narrowly missing out on a medal last year, Ben Whaley’s determination to finish on the podium is paying off as he takes the Radial boys’ lead following a perfect three-bullet day. Milo Gill-Taylor moves to second, one point ahead of Jordan Giles.
The battle for 29er supremacy is hotting up as Nick Robins and Billy Vennis-Ozanne had the perfect day picking up all four bullets to draw level on points with James Hammett and James Eales, edging to the top of the leaderboard on number of races wins. Brother’s Dan and Fin Armstrong round off the top three.
Robins explained: “The day was really good, we managed to stay consistent in pretty glamour conditions.”
With the 29er fleet now split into gold and silver, the racing dynamic has changed, described Vennis-Ozanne: “It’s become a lot more competitive now we’ve split into gold and silver.
“Tomorrow for sure is going to be really close racing so we’re looking forward to it,” he added.
Bella Fellows and Anna Sturrock shot up the fleet to end their day as first girls ahead of 2016 bronze medallists’ Courtney Bilbrough and Hanna Brant, whilst Freya Black Orla Mitchell slip to third girls’.
Over in the silver fleet, with many sailors making their Youth Nationals debut, the gusty conditions and unforgiving waves meant for an early finish. James Leech and Jess Flint won the only race of the day to see them top the results sheet.
Another exemplary performance and three bullets from Andy Brown sees him consolidate his RS:X lead. It is a familiar story with Josh Carey in second, while the tussle continues for third as Adam Phipps moves ahead of Isaac Lines.
Lily Young narrows the gap to sit sixth behind Erin Watson who continues to front the girls’ fleet. Islay Watson, younger sister of Erin, completes the top three.
Emulating the RS:X leader’s day was 15-year-old Moody, taking all three Techno bullets in style. Without a race outside the top two so far in the series, Abingdon’s Moody extends his lead on the fleet from Finn Hawkins and James Bulson. Weymouth’s Izzy Adcock posted a 5,4,2 to regain her position as top girl in fourth overall.
Leading the catamaran from the outset, William Smith and Abigail Clarke’s consistency sees them remain on top. Last year’s runner-up Will Heritage and new helm Theo Williams are snapping at their heels as they begin to close the gap, winning the last five races. Bobby Hewitt, ex-29er Youth Nationals medallist, and Freddie Simes sit third.
Alex Smallwood and Ross Thompson continue their unstoppable form holding onto the top spot for third day as they post 3,3,1 in the 420 fleet.
It looks like it is going to be a battle of the Davies sisters for the 420 girls’ title as Isabel Davies-Gemma Keers narrowly hold on to second by one point, while Katie Davies-Midge Watkins, who have won three of the last four races, move up to third overall.
Posting a 10,5,2, Rhys Lewis and Drew are second boys and fifth overall overnight.
Racing continues for all classes on Thursday 13 April through to Friday 14 April at Hayling Island Sailing Club.
Full results online here.
For further information please visit the RYA Youth National Championships website. You can follow the event and see the action unfold on the British Youth Sailing Team Facebook page, on Twitter at @RYAyouthracing and on Instagram @Britishyouthsailing. Share your photos and comments with us using #RYAYouths.