Young Draycote Water SC World Champions sailors, Jack Lewis and Lucas Marshall, have had their stellar 2015 achievements celebrated as the pair were revealed as the winners of the prestigious Midlands RYA Youth Champion Award 2016.
The duo, both 13 and from Rugby, will receive their award from the British Sailing Team’s three-time World Champion Finn star, Giles Scott, alongside the other 11 regional winners at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show on Saturday 5 March.
The RYA Youth Champion Awards, created in 2014, 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.
Jack said: "I am really pleased with what we achieved last year and we exceeded my targets for the year, which were to come in the top three at the Europeans and top five at the Worlds. It was a big surprise when I got the letter saying we had been chosen as RYA Regional Youth champions, I wasn't expecting it at all!”
Lucas continued: “I really enjoyed defending our titles from the year before and adding to them by being the first winners of the new RS Feva Eurocup Series. It’s not all about the winning. I love visiting new places, sometimes overseas, and making friends with, and sailing against, new people. The time on shore with our competitors is all part of it too!”
The boys look 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.
Jack added: “The opportunity to train as a GBR squad over the winter gives us great coaching and puts us up against stiff competition all winter long. We are hoping it pays off in summer competition.”
Jack and Lucas were nominated for the RYA Youth Champion Awards by their sailing club, Draycote Water, and selected as winners by the RYA Midlands regional committee.
Duncan Truswell, RYA Sport Development Manager, added: “We are delighted to acknowledge the achievements of young boaters from across the UK. They have all excelled during 2015, and we hope to see these sailors go on to achieve great things in our sport.”
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