The Royal Hospital School in Suffolk is celebrating an incredible double win of both the Under 17’s and Under 19’s categories at this year’s British Schools Sailing Championships.
Sailing schools from across the country participated in the championships alongside the Royal Hospital School (RHS) teams. The championships, organised by the British Schools Dinghy Racing Association, were held at Bough Beech Sailing Club near Sevenoaks in Kent.
The Under 17’s RHS Team came first in the RS Feva competition, headed up by Year 8 Team Captain Merryn Attridge, with the further two RHS teams placing third and fifth on the leader board.
The British Schools Dinghy Racing Association’s competitions are different from other sailing competitions, with each team entering a crew of two pupils on each of three boats to take part in quick races that give teams an opportunity to manoeuvre against the opposition team to assist their team mates to overtake and improve their position in the race. Teams are ranked by the most wins across a number of races in a league format.
The Firefly Competition saw RHS, headed up by Team Captain Will Pank, place top for school entries of the British Schools Under 19’s Championship, making it the first school, in the lifetime of the competition, to place top in both Under 17’s and Under 19’s categories in the same year.
Ed Sibson, Director of Sailing at Royal Hospital School, said: “We are delighted with this fantastic achievement. Seeing both teams score top in one of the most difficult competitions to date, is a career highlight for me!
“Due to the pandemic, our pupils have had limited contact with other schools and their sailing teams to take part in competitions in the last year, yet have kept up the highest level of commitment to training which has been demonstrated in their tactical decision making, excellent boat handling skills, and most importantly great teamwork, resulting in being crowned champions. We couldn’t be more proud of our sailors.”
Will Pank, Captain of Sailing at Royal Hospital School, said: “We had a great and ever so competitive event at which some were victorious and some learnt valuable lessons to take forward.
“All of the RHS sailors battled hard and it was my pleasure to lead them in my last event as the Sailing Captain. I wish them all the best of luck next year and must thank all the sailors and the coaches as well as the rest of the team, and hopefully I will see them all again on the circuit in future.”
RHS’s Sailing Academy is a Royal Yachting Association recognised training establishment based at Alton Water reservoir, located just 5 minutes from the main school campus and has a fleet of RS Tera, Topper, Laser, Firefly, RS Feva, RS200, 29er racing dinghies and more. All RHS school pupils, joining in year 7, have a week’s learn to sail experience and the opportunity to join the Sailing Academy.