VOLVO RYA YOUTH WORLD TRIALS, Falmouth, 20-23 October 2000
Restrongeut Sailing Club in Falmouth was host to 180 youth windsurfers and
sailors competing for the 8 places available in the British Youth Sailing Team
to represent Great Britain at the Volvo ISAF Youth World Championships, to be
held in Sydney, 28 December 2000 – 6 January 2001.
This was the first time the windsurfers had been selected on a one off trials
basis, normally the selection for the Youth Worlds, or often referred to as
the Youth Olympics, would form part of the national circuit. So it was all to
play for, the hopefuls would have to show they could perform on centre stage
with the pressure of a one off event – just as it would be in Sydney.
The twelve boys and three girls competing for their place in the team all raced
together on the IMCO board, in what turned out to be much varied conditions.
Day one bought light and fickle winds, with only two races being completed.
There was nothing to choose between pre-regatta favourites Ian Jamieson and
Hugh Sims-Williams, both finishing the day with a 1st and 3rd place. Oli Woodcock
and Toby Monk were tied for third place two points behind the leaders both scoring
a 2nd and 4th place on the opening day of the four day trials.
Bryony Shaw took a well deserved 5th place in race one. By the end of the day
only four points separated the three girls, Bryony leading followed closely
by Jessica Ash and Catherine Potter.
Day two was spent frustratingly ashore waiting for the wind to materialize,
but never came.
With two days left the organizers and selectors were now hoping for a rapid
change in conditions, the wind came 12-18 knots with gusts of over 20 knots
throwing a short chop up in the River. These were the conditions, as double
Olympic Silver Medallist and Selector Ian Walker explained, the team were most
likely to experience in Sydney Harbour during the Volvo ISAF World Championships
It was Oli Woodcock and Catherine Potter who seemed to revel in the stronger
breeze. Still shifting and gusty these were difficult conditions, but ones Oli
Woodcock described as ‘Good, tough conditions which I enjoy and sail well in.’
His scoreline for the day was three 1st and one 3rd place pulling him up to
first overall on equal points with Ian Jamieson, who was showing his consistency
across the conditions. Toby Monk now five points adrift in third place overall.
Catherine Potter, the youngest competitor in the IMCO fleet at just 16 coped
physically very well with the stronger breeze giving herself a 7 point cushion
over Bryony Shaw going into the last day.
The stronger winds continued and the race committee were able to run three
races on the final day making the trials a 9 race, 2 discard series.
Ian Jamieson didn’t get the start he wanted in race one with a DNF, Woodcock
scored a 3rd putting the pressure on Jamieson to perform in the last two races.
With confidence high Woodcock went onto win the penultimate race, taking the
event and his place in the British Youth Team with one race to spare. He was
the first to admit how close the competition had been between him and Jamieson,
‘It was tough and very close, they were hard racing conditions with lots of
wind shifts just like in Sydney. I’m really glad all my training paid off and
now I’m going to train even harder for the next couple of months in the lead
up to Sydney’.
As RYA National Windsurfing Coach Barrie Edgington and selector at this event
explained ‘Oli has trained really hard coming into this event and has benefited
from a 25% fitness improvement in five months. This has had a huge bearing on
his performance and especially in the windier conditions’.
Catherine Potter who sails from land locked Notts County Sailing Club, also
booked her place in Sydney with one race to spare, finishing 7th overall in
the mixed fleet and six points ahead of nearest rival Bryony Shaw. On the event
Catherine said, ‘ I came into this event as an outsider. The conditions were
good for me and I had quite consistent results.’ She now intends to spend as
much time on the water and in the gym as possible in the two months leading
up to the event.
Only 16, but Catherine is already used to the pressure of top International
events. Last year she won a Silver Medal at the Junior Windsurfing World Championships
in France, on the Aloha. Windsurfing success seems to run in the family with
younger brother Richard also medalling in the under 15 category.
Barrie Edgington was pleased with the performances, ‘both showed they’d made
big improvements this year and can handle the pressure. We have a stronger team
overall in sailing and windsurfing than we’ve seen for a few years. With more
comprehensive coaching support from RYA National Youth Coach, Dave Thompson
and Nick Dempsey, coupled with drawing from the experiences of the hugely successful
Olympic Team, we have the potential to do very well.’
Lets hope they can.Overall Results
IMCO Windsurfers, Boys, 15, entries, 9 races, 2 discards
1. Oli Woodcock (Ashton-under-Hill, Worcs) 4, 2, 1, 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 2 (11)
2. Ian Jamieson (Bridgwater, Somerset) 3, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 16, 3, 3, (14)
3. Toby Monk, 2, 4, 3, 3, 2, 3, 2, 2, 1 (15)
4. Hugh Sims-Williams (Bristol) 1, 3, 16, 5, 4, 6, 4, 8, 4 (27)
5. Daniel Ince, 7, 6, 4, 8, 7, 7, 1, 4, 11 (36)
IMCO Windsurfers, Girls
1. Catherine Potter (Nottingham), 12, 8, 7, 7, 9, 9, 6, 6, 5 (48)
2. Bryony Shaw, 5, 10, 10, 14, 12, 10, 5, 7, 7 (54)
3. Jessica Ash, 9, 9, 9, 13, 13, 12, 12, 11, 16 (75)