Some 200 sailors battled it out at the RYA Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing Championships held at Oxford Sailing Club at the weekend (14-15 October).
Team racing prowess was shown across the weekend as the 40 teams were put through their paces completing hundreds of races. It was the school teams which eventually came out on top as Norwich School were crowned Junior Champions, whilst Sevenoaks A won the Youth Championship.
An impressive 240 races were completed on Saturday for the Junior and Youth events in light but steady breeze giving sailors a chance to familiarise themselves with the boats. Sunday brought with it a slightly more breeze as sailor began to flex their hiking muscles.
With the leagues wrapping up on Sunday morning, the Junior finale came down to Norwich School versus Falcons, a team of sailors from Hayling Island and Yorkshire Dales Sailing Clubs. In the morning's Gold A league, Falcons became the only club to break Norwich School's winning streak resulting in a very closely matched final.
Norwich School, with the 2016 RS Feva World Champion amongst their ranks, managed to outsmart their rivals forcing a late penalty for Sevenoaks. And it was enough to secure Junior Victory for Norwich School.
Over on the Youth Course, the semi-finals saw West Kirby Red, Winchester College, Sevenoaks A and MCS 1 fight it out for a spot in the coveted final. Eventually West Kirby Red did enough to knockout Winchester and book the berth in the final, while Sevenoaks secured the other spot.
In the Gold Final the victor is determined by the first team to win two races. With one race apiece, the Youth title went to a third race as West Kirby Red and Sevenoaks engaged in a duel. West Kirby's reputation for home-grown team race talent remained true to form as they looked like they were going to take the win. However, on the nail-biting final beat, Sevenoaks A pulled off a stroke of genius to regroup and cross the line 2,3,5 to be crowned Youth champions.
Bruce Aitken from the Eric Twiname Trust commented: "It's been a wonderful weekend of racing with great weather conditions. It's been an excellent event with lots of happy competitors."
"For the first team this year the RYA has been offering commentary ashore as well as live coverage online. We hope this has allowed young sailors to see what Team Racing has to offer and we would love to see even more teams enter next year's event."
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More about the Eric Twiname Trust http://www.erictwinametrust.org/ and to donate www.justgiving.com/erictwinametrust.
Junior Champions - Norwich School
Youth Champions - Sevenoaks A