The accolade is
awarded to a young sailor who shows outstanding performance in competition, and
William was presented with his award at a ceremony in at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy
Show at London’s Alexandra Palace on 05 March 2017 by Helena Lucas, Paralympic
Sailing Gold Medallist.
William, who turns 14 this month, has
competed in both the Optimist and Feva classes around Europe and began 2016 by
coming second in the Optimist Spring Championships in Cardiff, and then
followed this up by qualifying for the Gold fleet in Palamos Spain. At the
Optimist selections he qualified for a place in the European Optimist team and
competed in Crotone in Italy as part of the British team finishing as second
Brit despite a tough start. He was also part of the GB team sailing in Naples,
Braassermeermeer, and Monaco. He finished 6th overall in the British
Open Optimist Champs and 2nd in the British Optimist Nationals in
Largs. He also scored 6th in the Inland Optimist Champs, 2nd
in the Late Summer Champs and won the Winter Championships at Datchet.
At the same time he teamed up with his
friend Finley Dickinson and they competed in the Feva Class. They began slowly,
finishing 10th at the Spring Champs in their first event and first sail
together. They then won the Inland
Championships at Queen Mary Sailing Club and followed this up by winning the
2016 Feva World Championships in Santander, Spain, taking both the open trophy
and the junior event. This victory
triggered an unexpected invite to the Endeavour Trophy event at Burnham on
Crouch. The boys, although being a little on the small side, sailed extremely
well and topped their year off by winning race 4 from Olympian Ben Saxton! They
finished the event 18th overall but had their moment in the sun!
Having described the past year as
“incredible”, William is currently in the National Optimist Squad and is
focused on trying to go one better than last year and qualify to represent the
UK at the Optimist Worlds in Thailand whilst also attempting to defend the Feva
World title in Holland.
Created in 2014,
the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards recognise the outstanding achievement
and performance of young people across the range of activities the RYA
represents, including sailing, windsurfing and powerboating.
RYA Director of Sport Development
Alistair Dickson said: “We’re delighted to recognise the achievements of these
sailors and windsurfers who have all shown lots of hard work, sacrifice and
determination to the sport.
“The Awards also help to emphasize
the endless support of our many volunteers who work so hard at the club level
to give our sailors the best possibly start to their future sailing careers.”
more information on the RYA Regional Youth Champion Award visit www.rya.org.uk/go/youthchampion