The RYA has bolstered its entry for this year’s Youth Sailing World Championships with the selection of two additional crews to represent the British Youth Sailing Team in Sanya, China, later this year.
420 class pairings Alex Smallwood-Ross Thompson and Hatty Morsley-Pippa Cropley are the latest sailors selected for Great Britain for the prestigious global event (11-15 December), after windsurfers Emma Wilson and Andy Brown were named as the first British team members last month.
They will be among a 400-strong international fleet from 60 nations competing at the event.
Smallwood (Datchet Water SC) and Thompson (Frensham Pond SC) were crowned RYA Youth National Champions by a 30 point margin at Hayling Island Sailing Club back in April, and went on to secure an eighth place in the 420 Open Europeans fleet in Athens last month.
This will be a Youth Worlds debut for the pair, with helm Smallwood admitting he is excited about the opportunity.
“We are really excited about racing all the best teams in the world and being in a [British] team with the other classes,” Smallwood explained.
“We feel very privileged to be selected to represent Britain in December. Qualifying has been a long term aim for the last year so we are looking forward to the event.”
Meanwhile, Morsley (Clwb Hwylio Y Felinheli Port Dinorwic SC) and Cropley (Royal Lymington YC) were girls’ bronze medallists for the second year running at the Youth Nationals, making the podium after a close-fought battle.
At the 420 Europeans, the pair took two race wins to finish 12th in the ladies’ fleet and as the top-ranked British female boat, seeing off rivals and last year’s Youth World representatives Isabel Davies and Gemma Keers.
The 18-year-olds subsequently went on to secure the Ladies silver medal at the 420 Junior Europeans Ladies last week as they get ready to embark on their first Youth Worlds outing.
“It feels amazing to be selected for the Youth Worlds especially after we've worked so hard over the winter and coming into the summer events,” said an elated Morsley.
Cropley continued: “Going to the Youth Worlds is going to be an amazing experience. I’m so happy to see our work paying off and I’m very excited to be competing.”
“I think I'm most excited about racing against the very best in the world, but also for the food,” Morsley remarked of the southern Chinese venue, which hosted Volvo Ocean Race stopovers for both the 2011-12 and 2014-15 editions.
British team selection for the 29er, Nacra 15 and Laser Radial classes will be announced over the coming months following a number of international events across the summer.
Stay with us to follow an action packed summer of international racing for the British Youth Sailing Team on British Youth Sailing Facebook, on Twitter @RYAYouthRacing and on Instagram @BritishYouthSailing.