New faces at the Welsh Youth and Junior Championships 2022

Beautiful sunshine and a clear mountain scenery as competitors launched.
12 Oct 22
Wide shot of ilca race

104 sailors were treated to some of Cardigan Bays' finest sailing conditions on Saturday with 9-11 knots from the west tracking south and a mild sea state.

There was a variety of boats, with sailors aged from 7-18;  from those competing at their first open sea event to sailors recently selected for GBR Youth Squads. 25 races were sailed across the two-course areas in total, with the first discard coming into play after the 3rd race.

The sailors returned to shore just before 5 pm and were met with hot food from Devlin's @ Plas Heli, who offered fantastic catering all weekend.

Sustainable sailing

The Boat Jumble was a huge success, providing the opportunity to sell second-hand kit and new sailors to pick up a bargain - helping support our organisational sustainability goals.

Strong winds and building sea state

Sunday brought a strong forecast, and there was no surprise when the reports back from the race course areas gave an average of 25knots, with gusts of up to 30 knots and 2-metre waves, and the tide yet to turn against the wind. With no window in the weather, likely, it was decided to cancel the racing early. Whilst the prizegiving was prepared, the RYA Cymru Wales and club coaches offered feedback sessions on the Saturday racing.


The prize-giving was late morning, and everyone was on the road before the rain arrived!

The Optimist class fleet was dominated by Cardiff Bay YC. Amazingly 75% of the fleet this year was female, a marked difference from previous years.

The Topper 5.3 fleet had the biggest entry with 25 competitors from across Wales.

There was a mix of classes in the General Handicap fleet; 29er, 420, RS Feva XL. The experience level of the sailors ranged hugely; GBR Youth Squad sailors, to those trying out the youth classes for the first time.

The ILCA classes raced together. There was a good mix of ILCA 6’s and 4’s who gave the ILCA 7’s a run for their money.

Phoebe Greenhalgh in the RS Tera Sport Fleet was awarded the Rose Bowl Trophy for the overall female with the lowest points.

New faces

Xenia Hudson (Cardiff Bay YC) was awarded the prize for the youngest sailor. She is only 7 years old and had completed all 5 races; What an absolute superstar!

Sarah McGovern, Wales Performance Manager said “It was tremendous to see so many new faces at this year's event. Following the effect of the pandemic, the clubs and coaches have done an incredible job of growing the junior and youth classes in Wales and keeping the sailors inspired to get out on the water.”

“It was amazing to see so many current and past parents volunteering to help at the event. Thank you to our Race Officers, Mike Butterfield and Matt Sayer, and their race teams for managing to run the 5 races in on Saturday.”

“A big thank you to the Welsh National Sailing Academy - Plas Heli for hosting the event and to the 45 volunteers, without which our events would not be possible. The Sailors now eagerly await news of their Welsh Squad Applications. We look forward to seeing the new faces taking part in training this winter and at the Welsh Regional Junior Championships in June 2023.”

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