Young Plymouth dinghy sailor Milly Jinks has been named RYA South West Regional Youth Champion 2018 after a stunning year of sailing achievement; she finished 2017 as a world and regional champion. Aged just 15, she was first female at the Rooster International Topper 5.3 World Championships in France last July, became SW Regional Zone Champion for the second year running in September, and won the 2017 Topper SW Traveller Series too.
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. Milly will receive her award alongside the other regional youth champions at the RYA Dinghy Show, which takes place at Alexandra Palace on 3 and 4 March.
Milly competed in her first local SW traveller series regatta - in which she came last! – when she was just 10. She kept on practising, developing her skills at Plymouth Youth Sailing and Saltash Sailing Club. Her long-term determination has resulted in a spectacular year of achievement – despite having to fight some confidence issues along the way.
The Port of Plymouth Sailing Association recently awarded her the Philip Kemp trophy for under-21 young sailor of the year, she was shortlisted for the Plymouth Herald's Young Sports Personality of the Year award 2017 and her school awarded her Female Sports Person of the Year for her outstanding dedication and achievements in sailing.
Milly is delighted with this latest accolade: “I’m thrilled to receive the award – it’s a perfect end to a great year of Topper racing. Now I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead with transitioning to a 29er.”
Longer term, she is 100% determined either to compete in the Olympics, or to be part of team GBR. She also wants to be an ambassador for the sport, going around schools and talking to children about ways of dealing with confidence issues and being positive.
RYA Director of Sport Development Alistair Dickson said: “We’re delighted to recognize 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.”