On arrival to Hayling Island Sailing Club, sailors were greeted with a two-hour postponement onshore before the expected breeze filled in to allow the full schedule of races to be completed on the penultimate day (Thursday 13 April) of the RYA Youth National Championships.
The event played host to a royal audience as HRH The Princess Royal, President of the Royal Yachting Association, observed proceedings from the water before coming ashore to meet RS:X and Techno sailors following their final race.
Topping the leaderboard for the fourth day this week are 420 duo Alex Smallwood and Ross Thompson, after a fourth race win of the regatta. In doing so the pair all but guarantee themselves championship glory with a day to spare following a flawless week.
Posting 6,7,10, Rhys Lewis and Drew Wright are gradually working their way up the pack to end the day second boys and fifth overall.
Wright was pleased with their performance: “Our day was pretty good, all top 10 results.”
Lewis added: “We’ve slowly got better as the week has gone on, we didn’t start brilliantly but we’re getting towards the top.
“Our plan for tomorrow is to be consistent, we’ve only got to hold our position to get our goals. We’re aiming for a solid day,” he asserted.
Going into today’s racing the Davies sisters were neck and neck with only a point separating Isabel Davies-Gemma Keers in second place from third placed Katie Davies-Midge Watkins. It was Davies-Keers who pull ahead despite a challenging day on the racecourse, to start tomorrow with an eight point advantage as they look to secure a second Youth Nationals title.
William Smith and Abigail Clarke have increased their lead for the fourth day running with three spectacular bullets in the catamaran handicap fleet. The pair will be aiming for their first Youth Nationals title as they go for gold in the final day of racing.
It is looking to be a tight battle for silver come close of play tomorrow, with five boats spaced seven points apart. Leading the pack are Theo Williams and Will Heritage, followed by Caleb Cooper and Tristan Payne.
On the RS:X course, it was Isaac Lines who managed to snatch a race win from Andy Brown for the second time this week to sit fourth, a mere two points adrift from second placed Josh Carey. Scot Andy Brown continues to storm ahead, whilst Adam Phipps sits third and Erin Watson remains top girl and is on course for a medal tomorrow after a strong performance in today’s lighter breeze.
In the ever competitive 29er fleet, the battle rages on for event honours as James Hammett and James Eales are back in the top spot for the second time this week.
End of week nerves got the better of Nick Robins and Billy Vennis-Ozanne as a disappointing day means they slip to second. The pair will go into the final day looking to claw back the lead as they sit four points adrift from the leaders.
Bella Fellows and Anna Sturrock extend their lead of the girls’ fleet to 18-points from Courtney Bilbrough and Hanna Brant. Freya Black-Orla Mitchell round off the top three in 11th overall
The fight continues on the Laser Standard course, as Daniel Whiteley will go into the final two races a fraction ahead of his fellow teammates and rivals. Sam Whaley sits second with Jack Cookson one point behind in third, as there is still everything to play for at the top of fleet as racing comes down to the wire.
Adding another bullet to his scoresheet, Ben Whaley leaves his opponents in the dust and sits a comfortable 20-points ahead of Arthur Brown.
In the girls’ fleet, Chloe Barr posted 1,2,8 to hang on the lead overnight. Hot on her tail with a 4,4,5 is Daisy Collingridge who will be eager to close the gap tomorrow after a consistently strong week
Racing continues for all classes on Friday 14 April at Hayling Island Sailing Club when the 2017 Youth National Champions will be crowned.
Full results online here.
For further information please visit the RYA Youth National Championships website. You can follow the event and see the action unfold on the British Youth Sailing Team Facebook page, on Twitter at @RYAyouthracing and on Instagram @Britishyouthsailing. Share your photos and comments with us using #RYAYouths.
A free online tool to recommend is the HTML tidy which can check and correct the errors in a hypertext markup language document.