Yorkshire Dales junior sailors claim European and World titles!
Posted: Mon, 20 Aug 2018 11:48
Two rising stars from Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club have achieved international success after claiming European and world titles this summer. Tom Storey, aged 15, took European championship victory in the doublehanded RS Feva class with crew Rupert Jameson, while Beth Miller, aged 14, was crowned first girl in the world championship for the singlehanded RS Tera Pro.
Both events were held at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, where hundreds of young sailors gathered to compete in the two hotly-contested junior classes, attracted by world-class competition at the London 2012 Olympic sailing venue.
Tom, from Knaresborough, and his crew Rupert, who is based on the south coast, claimed the RS Feva European Championship crown in a 115-boat fleet comprising 10 nations, following a 14-race series in often breezy conditions, gaining an edge as the only boat with consistent top 10 results in every single race.
It was their last event together in the class and after finishing second at the world championships in Florida earlier this year, they were thrilled to conclude their campaign by winning the European title. Tom, of St Peter's School, York, said: "It feels great to be a European champion and it was definitely worth all the hard work we put in this year to achieve it. I think our tactics and decisions got us past lots of boats and gave us the ability to get back from a bad start, meaning we went into the last day with a six point lead."
This same ability enabled them to hold their nerve on the final day as the points gap closed to see them winning just two points ahead of their nearest rivals. As Rupert explains: "We thought we had thrown the title away in the last race when we had a really poor start but we worked together, kept our head out of the boat and gave it everything we could!"
Harrogate and St Aidan's CE High School girl Beth Miller was first-placed girl and an impressive second overall at the RS Tera Worlds, sailing in the 66-strong RS Tera Pro fleet for older juniors in the class, likewise having to contend with some strong breezes. Over five days and 12 races, Beth's results included a race win and two seconds, plus a consistent set of top 10 finishes to secure the girls' title by a clear margin.
Beth, who competed under the New Zealand flag of her dad Martin's native country, where he was a sail maker for two America's Cup campaigns, said: "The realisation of becoming the female RS Tera Pro World Champion hasn't yet sunk in! I've been training hard over the past four years and especially this last season. To achieve this means a lot and it shows that anything is possible. Before this regatta, one of the massive things I lacked was self confidence. I would always doubt my ability and say that I can never beat certain competitors. During the worlds I proved myself wrong - and that anything you put your mind and time to is possible."
Ripon Sailing Club is also celebrating the success of its young sailors. In a record 81-boat RS Tera Sport fleet at the worlds, William Bailey from the club came an impressive fifth overall in a very close-fought battle for first place overall. Both Storey and Miller were also previously part of the youth training scheme at Ripon Sailing Club in Knaresborough.
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