Britain’s Youth sailors matched the efforts of the Team GB sailors at London 2012 with a five medal haul at the EUROSAF Youth Sailing European Championship 2012 in Aarhus,Denmark.
Saskia Sills, who was crowned 2012 Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Worlds Champion last month, led the charge for RYA Volvo Team GBR clinching gold in the girls’ RS:X windsurfing class, with Noelle Finch rounding off a strong performance for the GBR windsurfers with the silver medal.
The 16-year-old Sills, from Launceston, Cornwall, sealed a staggering eight race wins across the 12 race series, and entered Friday’s medal race showdown five points ahead of her GBR counterpart Finch.
It was the first time the European regatta had held a medal race in the youth championships but Sills was not fazed and went onto to seal her ninth win and the European Crown.
Finch ended the medal race in fourth, securing the silver medal with a 17 point lead over the French sailor Melanie Jariel in third.
Ellie Meopham who posted a credible fourth in the Laser Radial Class on her ISAF Youth Worlds debut, finished her regatta in seventh while Ellie Cumpsty also qualified for the medal race finishing 10th overall.
But there was disappointment for Stephanie Orton and Vikki Payne who finished 13th in the 29er event.
The boys also added to the medal haul with Joe Bennett winning gold in the RS:X windsurfing class with Kieran Martin getting the bronze and Michael Beckett clinching the silver medal in the Laser Radial class.
As well as battling for the European titles, sailors were also competing to win the series of new trophies generously donated by EUROSAF member countries. Amongst these was the prestigious Nations’ Cup – Team Trophy, which was awarded to Italy for the top competing nation. RYA Volvo Team GBR finished in second, two points behind the Italians.
Roy McCubbin, RYA Volvo Team GBR Head Coach at the event, commented: “The EUROSAF Youth Sailing European Championship 2012 was a big success. It’s an excellent platform for our young developing sailors to work in a team environment. RYA Volvo Team GBR selected a younger team to allow sailors the opportunity to gain experience at international events.
“The competition was raced in predominantly strong winds and it is credit to our sailors to be able to perform in these conditions. The British windsurfers ended the event on a high with four medals in total, adding to the fantastic team environment which was evident in the GBR camp. ”
The sailors will be able to defend their titles in 2013 when EUROSAF hold the event again, but this time in Tavira,Portugal.
The Women’s Sports Magazine