Three-time World Champion sailor and Rio 2016 medal hope, Giles Scott, helped recognise the achievements of rising Draycote Water SC stars, Jack Lewis and Lucas Marshall, as he presented the young pair with their prestigious RYA Youth Champion Award 2016.
The duo, both 13 and from Rugby received their Midlands award alongside the other 10 regional winners at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show at London’s Alexandra Palace on Saturday 5 March.
The RYA 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.
Last year Jack and Lucas completed a clean sweep of Junior World, European and inaugural Eurocup Series victories in the two-person RS Feva class, one of the junior classes the RYA supports on the pathway to Olympic Classes sailing.
Then, aged just 12, as well as claiming the title of PA Consulting Allen RS Feva Junior World Champions at the World Championships in Travemunde, Germany in July, they won bronze overall too.
British Sailing Team star Scott, who like the Draycote Water boys progressed through the RYA’s World Class Youth and Junior pathways before progressing into Olympic classes sailing, will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of the history-making Sir Ben Ainslie in claiming Finn class silverware for TeamGB at Rio this summer. But he took time out of his Olympic preparations to honour the latest RYA Youth Champions.
Giles said: “The RYA Youth racing programmes are the building blocks for the future and have helped all of us get where we are today. Recognising the sailors who have excelled at a young age is vital and helps to energise the sport. I hope to see these sailors go on to achieve a great deal in our sport.”
Jack, who attends Ashlawn School, and Lucas, who is at Bilton Grange, were nominated for the RYA Youth Champion Awards by their sailing club, Draycote Water, and selected as winners by the RYA Midlands regional committee.
They are now looking ahead to the 2016 season, having once again spent the winter training as part of the RYA RS Feva National Junior Squad. In May they will be aiming to defend their European titles at the RS Feva European Championship 2016, being hosted at Lipno Lake in the Czech Republic, and improve their results at the UK Nationals Championships at Weymouth and Portland, before travelling to Santander, Spain for the 2016 Worlds in July.
Draycote Water SC is situated in the Severn Trent Country Park between Rugby and Southam and is open with professional safety boat cover every day of the year except Christmas Day. The club has about 800 active sailing members, ranging in age from seven to 75 and also provides a range of training courses accredited by the RYA to take participants from beginners up to racing in performance dinghies. It is also a specialist windsurf training centre.
For more information on the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards visit www.rya.org.uk/go/youthchampion or to find out how you can get into sailing at Draycote Water SC in this Olympic year visit www.draycotewater.co.uk