RYA Youth National Championships 10-14 April 2023
Published 13:29 on 19 Apr 2023
Exe SC's Sophie Raven is RYA Youth National Champion
The 2023 RYA Youth National Championships saw six Exe SC sailors competing in the Nacra 15 class at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy alongside the other youth classes.
Only two days of racing were possible due to strong winds on the other three days. The RYA put on talks from the Youth Racing Managers and British Sailing Team sailors to keep sailors inspired when there was no racing. There was also a talk from Vakaros about their Atlas 2 sailing instrument and Race Sense software. This was being trialled by the RYA on the Nacra fleet with all the boats fitted with Atlas 2 instruments. Race Sense allows the race officer to identify boats which are over the line at the start and the Atlas 2 shows the sailors whether they are OCS. For this trial event the decision rested with the race officer from visual indications and the instrument only acted as a compass for the sailors (although it did also show the OCS information).
Three races were held on the Tuesday with an early start to try to get races in ahead of expected strong winds in the afternoon. After a mistake in the first race saw Sophie Raven (Exe) and Sam Cox (Restronguet) fall back from first at the windward mark to second last, they managed to recover for a 6th, then picking up a 1st and 2nd to finish the day third overall. Tom Jones (Retronguet) and Amelie Andrew (Exe) picked up a 13th and 5th but struggled in the strong wind on the last race and did not finish. Finn Caddy (Bristol Corinthian) and Morgan Turner (Exe/Tamworth) picked up 9th and 10th and a DNF. Marcus King (Weston) and Charlotte Cox (Exe) the lightest sailors and only U17 team sailed well for 10th and 13th but could not complete the last race. Anna Cox (Exe) and Angus Bailey (Exe) sailed solidly for 15th and 12th but also failed to finish the third race. A very windy upwind sail back to shore was testing for the sailors, and they were commended by the Principal Race Officer for the way they all helped each other to recover the boats and get the sails down in what was a very strong wind by that time.
Once Storm Noa had passed on Wednesday, Thursday brought a force 4 and sunshine although very chilly. Sam and Sophie traded first and second places with the Belgian crew of Mateo LeClercq and Mathieu Pinsaart, ending the regatta on equal points but winning overall on count back. Tom and Amelie showed their potential with two 6th places but not finishing the last race after a big pitch pole. Finn and Morgan continued to improve with their best result of 8th in the last race. Marcus and Charlotte, and Anna and Angus, continued their soled performances, but struggled in the last race as the wind and swell built.
Apart from Sophie, the other Exe SC sailors have only been sailing the Nacra for six months or so. Most of their sailing has been in more sheltered estuary waters and with the racing being in Weymouth Bay, they also had to cope with some bigger waves as the wind backed SW and built on both days, and they did a great job gaining valuable race experience. This was also the first event of the Nacra 15 European Super Series, so it was lovely to have five overseas boats sailing. The next event is at YC Carnac in France from 29/04-01/05.
Full results: https://youthnationals.rya.org.uk/en/default/races/race-resultsall
Last updated 20:57 on 5 December 2023