Sills Crowned 2011 RYA Volvo RS:X Youth National Champion

Duncan Slater
Sam Sills in action
Sam Sills in action

It was a double celebration for Sam Sills yesterday (Friday 15 April) as he not only celebrated his 18th birthday, but he has also been crowned 2011 RYA Volvo Youth National Champion in the RS:X windsurfing class as the championships drew to a close at Hayling Island Sailing Club.

The RS:X class was the one to watch this week as Sam Sills, last year’s champion, and Connor Bainbridge, last year’s runner-up, were neck-and-neck leading into yesterday’s two final races. The pair were level on points with 14 each leading into today’s championship decider which in the end saw Sam discard his final two results of the day after posting consistent firsts and seconds all week. Connor got off to a flyer today winning the first race, however due to a massive shift in wind during the final race Bainbridge finished in fifth, handing the 2011 title to Sills.

Sills, on picking up his second consecutive RYA Volvo Youth National Championship title, commented: “It feels amazing!”

“I have worked so hard to try and achieve this, I’m so glad the week is over and I have won! My discards were two seconds so I just had one objective which was to try and beat Connor. It’s amazing and I am so happy, it’s the best birthday present I could have asked for.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the year and the Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships, Sills said: “I need to keep training as hard as I can and try and keep focused for the ISAFs in July.”

“I will definitely try my best to bring back a medal from the event as it’s been my main aim for a long very long time.”

Meanwhile in the girls RS:X fleet, championship glory went to Jade Rogers who has only been racing on the RS:X board for six months. Noelle Finch finished the week in second 8 points behind Rogers, while Kate Strange followed in third.

Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, commented: “This week has been a fantastic week and a very challenging week for the sailors with a range of weather conditions really testing the young competitors. Hayling Island can provide strong tides so the sailors who have come out on top have done very well to dominate the regatta.

“We owe the race teams a huge debt of gratitude for squeezing the best out of the conditions and getting the sailors racing as much as they have done.

“Thanks also must go to the Hayling Island Sailing Club for their hospitality this week, and to the team of dedicated volunteers and parents, without whom this event simply could not happen.”

For more information and final results from the 2011 RYA Volvo Youth National Championships, or to view the event daily vodcast please visit www.ryaracingevents.org.uk

RYA Volvo Team GBR announced for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship 2011

After five days of exhilarating sail racing at the 2011 RYA Volvo Youth Nationals, selectors for the 2011 RYA Volvo Team GBR Youth Worlds Team have announced the 12 sailors who will represent Great Britain at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships 2011.

Attending the prestigious event in the RS:X windsurfing class for the second year running, Sam Sills, will look to build on his experience from the 2010 event.

“It’s great to be selected again for Team GBR. Last year I did okay but I lacked international experience, I feel more confident this year and am aiming for a good steady performance.”

The RS:X fleet provided an intense battle all week, going down to the last race of the day, but with Sills posting consistent results all week he thoroughly deserves his place on the plane come July.

Joining Sills on the RS:X windsurfer is Jade Rogers, who will compete for the first time in the girls’ fleet.

“I’m over the moon to have been selected and it is a great achievement. Its going to be the biggest sailing event I have ever raced in and will be great to sail against international competitors” said Rogers.

The 12 sailors who have been picked to represent RYA Volvo Team GBR have all proved their worth this week, all winning their individual classes to earn their place in the team as RYA Youth Racing Manager Duncan Truswell explained: “This year the level of sailing has been excellent”

In most of the classes the racing has been extremely close and I believe we have a good all round solid team”

Truswell continued: “We have got a real mix between experience and youth as we have got a number of sailors who went last year and a number of new faces who have been very quick this week in similar conditions to those expected in Croatia.”

Skandia Team GBR and Team Volvo for life sailor Paul Goodison, the 2008 Olympic gold medallist in the Laser class, commented: “It is now important that the sailors who have been selected for the 2011 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships have a clear and focused training regime between now and July. The young sailors need to research the conditions expected in Croatia, which I expect will be very light winds ranging from 8-10 knots, and understand what is needed to do well.

“For the guys who missed out on selection this year, it’s crucial to remember that the ISAFs aren’t the be all and end all as I never went and it’s all seemed to work out for me. They need to set themselves new goals and targets, achieve something within six months and continue to work hard” Goodison explained.

For more information and final results from the 2011 RYA Volvo Youth National Championships, or to view the event daily vodcast please visit www.ryaracingevents.org.uk

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