UK. RYA Youth Nationals & Trials: Competitors' spirits lifted by visit from HRH The Princess Royal
Laser Radials at the RYA Youth National Championships and Trials: © RYA/ Lee Whitehead.
Photo: Laser Radials at the RYA Youth National Championships and Trials: © RYA/ Lee Whitehead. - click picture to enlarge
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Wednesday, 12 April 2006
Myrrh Walker:

Day two of the RYA Youth National Championships and Trials brought strong gusty winds, abandoned racing and a visit from HRH The Princess Royal to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA).

As light rains swept in, HRH The Princess Royal joined competitors, coaches, volunteers, parents and event staff in the main hanger to speak about the Championships. After chatting about fitness, rig tuning and weather with coaches and sailors, HRH The Princess Royal met the 150 volunteers that help to run the event by donating their time.

The competitors from the front of each fleet also spoke with HRH The Princess Royal. The group discussed the challenges of competing at the Youth National Championships and about their dreams of representing Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics. If successful they will be competing on these same waters in six years time.

"It was fantastic the have HRH The Princess Royal with us today." Event organiser, Rob Andrews enthused. "It's wonderful to have such an enthusiastic patron and supporter of our sport."

While the Royal visit was a great success, squeezing in racing was proving to be more of a challenge. The Laser Radials were the first afloat in tough conditions, but subsequent squalls forced the race team to postpone and send the Radials back to the slipway.

With over 330 competitors entered in the event, WPNSA, the Olympic sailing venue for London 2012 and one of the only venues for the Games that is up and running, became a hub of activity. Sailors waited eagerly for the race committee to make the final call on racing.

By the afternoon wit the wind steadily in excess of 25 knots, the race committee reluctantly had to call off the day's competition.

Radial sailor, Elliot Banks, from Buxton, Derbyshire commented "It's really disappointing that they cancelled the racing but I think they probably made the right decision. When we launched it didn't seem that windy but there are several sailors new to the class and with less experience, so for safety reasons they called it off. Hopefully we will be back out there tomorrow."

Simon Wergan, RYA Youth Racing Manager explained. "We really wanted to get some racing in today and held off as long as we could, but the wind just never dropped off long enough for us to safely get the boats out there. The race and safety teams went out there several times but unfortunately we never got enough of a window to go ahead with racing."

Racing continues through to Friday 14 April. Further event information and final results can be found on
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 April 2006 )
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