Welsh sailors win podium finish at RYA Eric Twiname Championships

Sunshine, fun and standout results for ‘Team Wales’ at annual junior event
08 May 24

40-strong team of young Welsh sailors wearing red team kit flanked by coaches and holding up Welsh flags at the Eric Twiname Junior Championships 2024.

More than 40 Welsh junior sailors competed at the RYA Eric Twiname Championships over a long weekend of sunshine and light winds at Rutland Sailing Club, finishing second overall as a team in the dinghy classes.

The annual ‘battle of the regions’ saw nine teams of young sailors representing  their RYA region or home country: East, London & South East, Midlands, North, South, South West, and the Home Countries of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

In total the event had 284 entries and 308 sailors competing across 10 British Youth Sailing recognised classes in the Optimist, Topper, RS Tera (Sport & Pro), ILCA4 and RS Feva and four Techno windsurfer rigs.

The RYA Cymru Wales team comprised 41 sailors who seized the opportunity to make the most of three days of varied racing over the Bank Holiday (4-6 May 2024). ­­

Aerial view of scores of Topper dinghies swarming on Rutland Water for the Eric Twiname Champs 2024

Long course races of around 20-25 minutes tested boat speed and big picture decision making skills, while short course races of 7-10 minutes put good starting and boat handling at a premium.

During postponements waiting for wind, it was also busy on shore with sessions led by coaches from across the regions, ranging from tactics for short course scenarios, hiking and sheeting techniques, to fun ‘fill-the-Optimist with water’ relays. 

Sarah McGovern, Performance Manager for RYA Cymru Wales, said: “It was great to see the camaraderie in the Welsh camp with sailors across the classes supporting each other on and off the water and parents volunteering and supporting the whole Welsh team. Across the 10 classes a total of 148 races were sailed and the race teams did a brilliant job to lay the courses in tricky conditions.”

Fleet of RS Teras with white and orange sails with an RS Feva in the middle, on the water in sunshine with light winds and grey skies at the Eric Twiname Championships 20124.

Stand out Welsh results included:

  • Dinghy Home Country/ Region: 2nd overall (North 1st overall)
  • RS Feva 1st girls & 2nd overall: Phoebe Greenhalgh & Megan Gowers (Port Dinorwic SC)
  • RS Feva 2nd boys & 3rd overall: Ben Greenhalgh & Tom Sinfield (Port Dinorwic SC)
  • ILCA 4 1st girl & 2nd overall: Bronwen Thomas (PPSA)
  • Optimist 2nd girl: Sienna Watts (Cardiff Bay YC)
  • RS Tera Pro 3rd girl: Isla McKeown (Gresford SC)

Eric Twiname Championships 2024 overall results.

­Sarah added : “A huge well done to all the Welsh sailors – it was great to see them putting their skills learnt over the winter into practice.

“We enjoyed some fantastic overall and individual results but it was also rewarding to see the Welsh sailors meeting new friends and having new experiences. I was very proud to be Welsh this weekend and part of the Team Wales ET Team!”

A big thank you to all the parents who enabled their sailors to travel and to Welsh team coaches Will Willett and Sam Thomas for supporting the whole event.

Blue RIB coach boat with two people aboard and flying a Welsh flag alongside a Topper dinghy with Rutland SC in the background at the Eric Twiname Championships 2024.

Next up

Our first two Dragon Series events for youth & junior sailors take place this Saturday 11  May at Llandegfedd Sailing Club (South) and Neyland Yacht Club (West).

The Dragon Series is open to all levels from novice sailors travelling to their first competition to experienced racers wanting to practice against their squad friends.

Join in! For more information visit Dragon Series 2024 and find all the dates and entry details on the RYA Events hub.

There is also the British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships coming up soon at Dale, 22-23 June 2024. With both Regatta and Championship fleets, this event is ideal for young sailors keen to progress and test their racing skills.

Enter now for the BYS Regional Junior Championships for Wales.

Youth and junior sailors wanting to get some coaching in advance to hone their boat handling and tactics are invited to sign up for RYA Cymru Wales open training!

Save the dates

This year’s OnBoard Festivals will take place at Dale on 31 August-1 September and Bala on 31 August, with an invitation for new sailors and aspiring racers to have fun on the water with support from instructors, coaches and gold fleet sailors.

Look out for entry opening soon and in the meantime please share the dates junior sailors and parents at your club!

Group of five smiling junior sailors from Team Wales on shore  in the sunshine at Rutland SC for the Eric Twiname Champs 2024.