GB Sailing Youngsters ready to take on the world’s best in Oman
Sixteen of the UK’s most promising young sailors are set to take on the best in the world when they represent Great Britain at the World Youth Sailing Championships.
The talented youngsters, all aged 18 and under, will represent the British Youth Sailing (BYS) team at the 50th edition of the prestigious regatta to be held in Mussanah, Oman, from December 11-18.
Competing in the 29er, 420, Nacra 15, ILCA 6, Techno293 + and Formula Kite classes, the Sailors were selected to the team for their performances at the 2021 RYA National Youth Championships.
The World Youth Championship returns after the cancellation of the 2020 edition due to the coronavirus pandemic and is more closely following the Olympic path with the addition of kitesurfing.
Former participants of the Youth World Championships include some of today’s best-known sailors, including the world’s most decorated Olympic sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie. Three members of the 2019 team, Finn Hawkins, Freya Black and Matilda Nicholls, have also progressed within the full British Sailing Team.
Of the sixteen sailors selected, all but one will make their debut at the Youth World Championships. Jasmine Williams (Restronguet SC) is the only returnee to face the Nacra 15, this time as a team with the crew Alfie Cogger (Coniston SC).
At 16, ILCA 6 sailor Sam Dickinson (HIC) is the youngest member of the squad but has experience around him with 18-year-old Coco Barrett (Island Barn Reservoir SC) and coach ILCA veteran James Hadden.
Barrett said: “I expect this to be a pretty tough but fun regatta. From what we saw of ILCA 6 Worlds last week [in Oman], the breeze can be very light and unstable, so it will be important to stay consistent.
“Sam and I have worked a lot with our coach this winter, so we’ll both be looking to replicate the gains we’ve made in training.
“Not having been able to participate in any of the international Under-19 events for the past two years due to covid, it’s really great to have one last chance before you get old. I can’t wait to meet new people and experience the international atmosphere, and it’s always nice to sail somewhere warm in the middle of winter.
Adam Farrington (Bournemouth & Poole Kitesurfing Club) and Ella Geiger from West Sussex take charge of the new addition to Formula Kite.
Farrington, 18 (pictured above), said: “I expect high quality blazing fast races. I haven’t been able to compete in international competitions this year, but I’ve trained really hard and hope to make the top five. No one really knows who is doing or how good they are, so anything can happen.
“I am also very happy to represent GB sailing for the first time, and the warm weather will be a bonus.”
Continuing the hot weather theme, Techno293 + Girls’ Rep, 17-year-old Lucy Kenyon (pictured below) said, “I’m really excited for the Youth World Championships in Oman. The place looks amazing and I am very happy to leave the British winter climate behind.
“We worked really hard so I can’t wait to be on the start line and do my best. I also have to say a big thank you for all the support and everyone who made this possible. “
Kenyon was one of the few sailors to compete in international races when she rose to the top ranks for the iQFOiL Euros in Marseille last month.
“It was really great to run with the senior girls and I learned a lot of knowledge and had a great time. It will certainly help Oman to have done bigger fleet races again and participate in race day training in Marseille, ready for the Youth World Championships.
Kenyon is joined by his Parkstone YC teammate Boris Shaw, 16, who is starting the Techno293 + in the boys’ category.
Cardiff Bay YC is represented by Jamie Cook and Will Martin in the boys ‘420 with Julia Staite (HIC) and Bettine Harris (Bristol Corinthian YC) competing in the girls’ fleet.
HISC is also represented in the Women’s 29er where Emily Mueller and Florence Brellisford will be in action while Leo Wilkinson (Maidenhead SC / DWSC) and Sam Jones (Hill Head SC) take on the Men’s 29er.
BYS Youth Worlds team leader Sam Ross said: “With so much uncertainty right now, it is with so much excitement and relief that we have the team on the plane and we let’s go to the youth worlds.
“It’s great to see the team already assembled and excited for the event. We have a lot of experience in the sailing and coaching team and we look forward to the challenges of this very unique event.
“It will also be the first time that we will see the Kites get involved at this level, so events will align even more with Paris 2024 and beyond.”
Start of races on December 13
GBR 2021 Youth Sailing World Championships team:
Julia STAITE, 18, Hayling Island, HISC, and Bettine HARRIS, 18, Somerset, Bristol Corinthian YC
Jamie COOK, 17, and Will MARTIN, 18, Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff Bay YC
Emily MUELLER, 18, Surrey, HISC, and Florence BRELLSFORD, 18, Essex, HISC
Leo WILKINSON, 17, High Wycombe, Maidenhead SC / DWSC, and Sam JONES, 18, Hampshire, Hill Head SC
Jasmine WILLIAMS, 17, Cornwall, Restronguet SC, and Alfie COGGER, 18, Cumbria, Coniston SC
Kite foil girls:
Ella GEIGER, 16, West Sussex
Kite foil boys:
Adam FARRINGTON, 18, Ferndown, Bournemouth & Poole Kitesurf Club
Sam DICKINSON, 16, Hayling Island, HISC
Coco BARRETT, 18, Surrey, Island Barn Reservoir SC
Techno293 + girls:
Lucy KENYON, 17, Poole, Parkstone YC
Techno293 + boys:
Boris SHAW, 16, Poole, Parkstone YC