Festival of racing for Midlands junior sailors and windsurfers

Success for all ages and abilities at regional championships
30 Sep 21

The 2021 Midlands Regional Junior Championships at Glossop and Carsington saw more than 150 youngsters taking to the water over two weekends of racing.

The events for the region were among 11 British Youth Sailing regattas held across the country during September to provide a nationwide festival of racing for junior windsurfers and sailors of all abilities from those just starting out to seasoned racers.

Strong turnouts for the Midlands events saw a record number of 55 youngsters at Glossop SC for the BYS Windsurfing Regional Junior Championships. Carsington SC then hosted 99 junior sailors for their event across three fleets: Championship, Coached Regatta and an OnBoard Fun Fleet.

Tim Hall, Regional Performance Manager for the Midlands, said: “We had a record number of windsurfers for the first event at Glossop, which was absolutely brilliant, and then a superb weekend for our junior sailors at Carsington. A huge thank you to both clubs for hosting such memorable championships and to all the volunteers, race officials, parents and competitors who supported the events or took part, we couldn’t do it without you!”

Fresh from Tokyo 2020, Team GB athlete Alison Young made a guest appearance at Carsington, offering tips to the racing sailors, taking on prize-giving duties and helping the OnBoard fleet.

Tricia Ordsmith, Sailing Development Officer for RYA Midlands, said: “The kids and parents had lots of questions for Ali and she took the OnBoard sailors through some warm-up exercises, then signed personalised messages for the kids, parents and instructors - a great inspiration!”

Club trophy

The Club Trophy for the most entries this year was awarded to Midland SC, which had 24 entries across the two events with 16 windsurfers at Glossop and eight sailors at Carsington.

Phil Reeves from the club said: “We were delighted to accept the trophy for the biggest team entered in this year’s regional championships. We are extremely proud to have grown our team this year beyond expectations and we’re hoping to carry on bringing joy to our juniors’ lives throughout their involvement in watersports.

“We have had an extremely busy season, expanding our program considerably, allowing us to not only build a strong beginners grassroots base, but also focusing on and encouraging progression and advanced training, while maintaining female participation throughout. It has been amazing to witness the growth and progress of our sailing junior team, as well as the bloom and popularity of our newly started windsurfing division.

“We are excited and impatient to see what the future brings and grateful for the incredible team of juniors, parents and of course instructors, led by Phil and Natalia, that made this possible. Bring on the next season and winter training!”

Among those from Midland SC who competed at Carsington, sailing in the Topper fleet, were siblings Han and Tian Zhang. Han, aged 13, said: "The weekend was fun. The wind was really good on the Sunday and I enjoyed every minute of the four races. Everyone is friendly and some from other clubs gave me their tips during the races." Tian, aged 11, added: "It's my first time racing. I really enjoyed it and like ‘hiking out’ in the strong wind. I definitely want to do more."

Junior sailors

Light winds on the Saturday at Carsington were followed by slightly more breeze of around 10-12 knots on day two, enabling all ages and abilities to develop or test their skills, with between five to seven races for each fleet alongside OnBoard activities for those relatively new to the sport.

Keith Appleby, Honorary Secretary at the club and a race officer over the weekend, said: “There was a wide range of experience amongst the sailors and coaching and racing was provided for all of them. The club combined with volunteers from across the Midlands region to provide competition and enjoyment all round, covering launching and recovery, safety and catering. Judging by the smiles on faces the aim for enjoyment was successful!”

Winning the 41-boat Topper fleet was Joseph Rowe (Draycote Water) with Caitlin Thomas (Notts County) second and Jessica Powell (Draycote Water) third. The next three places were all claimed by Notts County sailors: Hayden Moore (4th & 2nd boy), Edward Paling (5th & 3rd boy) and Katherine Gunn (6th & 3rd girl).

RS Tera Sport victory went to Alice Edwards (Burton). In the Optimist fleet Glossop SC’s Jacob Bennett and Sebastian Smith took first and second overall with William Shaw (Banbury) third. Laser Radial sailor Sam Byrd (Draycote Water) won the General Handicap and the RS Feva fleet overall was claimed by Imogen Green and Felicity Angell, making it three fleet wins for Draycote Water.

The Regatta fleet win went to Topper sailor Jennifer Scrimshaw (WYSA) with RS Tera Sport sailors Henry Byrd (Draycote Water) and Phoebe Hodges (Burton) second and third overall respectively.

All the results from the Midlands Regional Junior Championships can be found here.


At the Windsurfing Regional Junior Championships at Glossop SC for the Midlands, North and Wales, a fantastic one-day event combined fun and competition and saw four or five races for each fleet.

The top three for the 3.5 Blue Rig were Jasper Malik (Debdale Outdoor Centre), Luca Knowles (Glossop) and Izzy Fowles (West Kirby Warriors) respectively; and for the 3.5 Yellow Rig fleet, Edward Watson (Glossop), Tahir Mohammed (Burton) and Frank Hadgraft (Debdale Outdoor Centre).

Taking the podium spots in the other fleets, 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively, were: 4.5 Rig: Sam Freeman (Blithfield), Sofia Melovic (Glossop) and Owen Silcock (Glossop); 5.8 Rig: Rebecca Pilkington (Burton), Amelia Gay (Burton) and Adam Hoey (Kielder Water); 6.8 Rig: Katie Leeds (North Lincs & Humberside), Josh Freeman (Blithfield) and Sophie Williamson (West Kirby Warriors); and 7.8 Rig: Oliver Cooper (West Kirby Warriors), Alex Thompson (Glossop) and Andrew Smitham (Glossop).

The full results from the windsurfing championships at Glossop can be found here.

Next year!

In a change from the traditional September schedule, the Regional Junior Championships will be moving to early summer in 2022, hopefully enabling better weather for competitors and longer evenings for after-racing social activities. The Midlands event will be at Draycote Water SC, 18-19 June 2022. Save the date!