A promising young sailor from Kielder Water Sailing Club has been named RYA North East Regional Youth Champion.

Thirteen-year-old George Stewart from Ryton, Gateshead, is one of 10 aspiring sailors from across the UK selected for the awards, which recognise outstanding achievement in sailing, windsurfing and power boating.

Rio Olympic sailor and 49er world champion Dylan Fletcher will present a trophy to each of the regional youth champions at an official presentation on Sunday 4 March, at the RYA Dinghy Show in London.

George was nominated for the awards following a year in which he excelled in both windsurfing and sailing - becoming the BIC Techno 4.5 windsurfing national champion and improving his ranking in the hugely competitive Optimist class.

His results led to George earning selection to the RYA North and Midlands Windsurfing Zone Squad and to the national Optimist Development Squad, each of which aim to hone the skills of up and coming talent.

George, who has a sports scholarship at Thorp Academy in Ryton, benefiting from the school's Elite Performance Programme, has chosen to take up a place in the higher level sailing squad and is now training hard over winter.

He said: "I'll still be doing windsurfing with my club but hope to focus on my Optimist sailing more. They're great boats and I just love the experience of taking part in training and sailing events all over the country. For the coming season I want to keep progressing and keep pushing forward."

George has just returned from a squad camp on the sea at Pwllheli in Wales and will be racing at the international Braassemermeer Regatta in Holland over Easter ahead of the main UK championship season. He also plans to continue competing with Kielder Water SC's Team 15 Kestrels windsurfing club.

Kielder Water SC committee member and instructor Michelle Russell, who nominated George for the award, added that in addition to George's success on the national circuit he had been sharing his skills at his home club: "George has a positive attitude and is always keen to help others who are less experienced, encouraging and supporting them both on and off the water. He has assisted the coaches at Kielder Water's dinghy club and is also a keen competitor in club racing when not travelling or training."

RYA Director of Sport Development Alistair Dickson said: "We're delighted to recognise the achievements of these sailors, who have all shown lots of hard work, sacrifice and determination in the sport. The Awards also help to emphasize the endless support of our many volunteers who work so hard at the club level to give our sailors the best possible start to their future sailing careers."