The RYA Youth National Championships returned to Pwllheli, North Wales, over the Easter break as the 2022 champions were crowned across seven youth fleets.
Last hosting the premier youth sailing regatta in 2016, Plas Heli welcomed 280 youngsters from all over the country for five days of racing from 9 – 15 April.
With the 2021 Youth Nationals spread across two weekends and two venues, the 2022 edition saw all the youth fleets together in one place for the first time as the kitefoilers joined the iQFOiL, 420, Nacra 15, 29er and ILCA6 in competition.
Despite contending with unstable wind and weather conditions throughout the week, everyone but the kite and board fleets came very close to completing their full schedules in tough race conditions that varied from sunny to foggy.
Although enduring a tougher week onshore, the iQFOiL and kite sailors still completed enough races to confirm their national champions.
Mark Nicholls, the RYA’s Youth Racing Manager, said: “Year after year at the Youth Nationals I am amazed by the strength and resilience of our nations young sailors. They have had a few tough years, as has everyone, and the start of the regatta was no different. But, yet again, they dealt with the everything thrown at them with fortitude.
“There was some great racing as always and congratulations to all the winners, but as well as medals we also give out spot prizes for British Youth Sailing values and behaviours, and this was the hardest job for us. As regatta organisers it is fantastic to see these young sailors coming together to help each other and support each other. It’s so heartening to know the future of our sport is in such good hands.”
The Youth National Championships is the flagship event of British Youth Sailing, which aims to develop and retain the world’s best young dinghy racers, windsurfers and kitefoilers.
British Youth Sailing also sets young people up for a lifetime in sailing, whether in Olympic classes, club dinghy racing or yachts, or as coaches and race officials, and teaches them valuable skills and behaviours to take into their adult lives.
BYS Behaviours and Values Award winners:
‘Courage and Determination’
George and Tom Blunt – 420 (male) – Whitstable YC
George Creasy – 420 (male) – West Kirby SC
Warsash Plate – Youngest Helm
Joseph Jones – 420 (male) – Burghfield SC
Harken Competition winner
Toby Smith – 29er (male) – Royal Hospital School
The winners in each class were:
Megan FARRER (Emsworth SC) and Ellie RUSH (Nottinghamshire County SC)
Henry HEATHCOTE and Hector BENNETT (both Royal Lymington YC)
Alice DAVIS (Draycote Water SC) and Oliver RAYNER (Yorkshire Dales SC)
Ellen MORLEY and Hazel MCDONNELL (both Hollowell SC)
Santiago SESTO-COSBY (Royal Lymington YC) and Leo WILKINSON (Maidenhead SC)
Annabelle VINES (Royal Lymington YC) and Raulf BERRY (Hayling Island SC)
Sam STEWARD (Brading Haven YC) and Isobel SMITH (Starcross YC)
Kite foiling (female)
Francesca MAINI (BKA)
Kite foiling (male)
Tommie GRITT (Royal Hospital School)
Lucy KENYON (Parkstone YC)
Charlie DIXON (Blackwater YC)
Full results from the regatta can be found here.