A young sailor from Chester has been awarded exclusive use of a brand new boat thanks to the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST), the official charity partner of the RYA OnBoard (OB) programme.

Rebecca Isbell, who sails at Chester Sailing And Canoeing Club was one of 11 successful youngsters, three from the North West, selected from hundreds of applications after competing in the RYA Zone and Home Country Championships, which took place at eight venues across the UK this September.

She has been sailing for three years and wants to compete at national level events: "This year I have put in a lot of extra effort to get faster at sailing and I have enjoyed the races at the club and found them very exciting. "I cherish the times when the wind is blowing in face and I am leaning out of the boat and zooming down the River Dee. You have to concentrate hard when you are sailing to do well, but I feel wonderful when everything goes just right and you zip past another boat."

Mum Stefania describes her daughter as a very determined individual and said: "She looks forward to her sailing sessions and is eager to get everything ready and get out on the water as quickly as possible to maximise the time available to her. She has also taken the opportunity to experience sea sailing during an away day organised by the club at Colwyn Bay."

The Principal of the Chester SCC Training Centre, Peter Hadfield said: "It is obvious that Rebecca has enjoyed her sailing this year and this is reflected in the very significant improvement in her sailing and racing skills - she shows real potential to do well in regional events over the next couple of years."