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Opening Day at RYA National Youth Championships

Sunshine and a Force 3 out on Hayling Bay for the first day of the RYA Youth National Championships at Hayling Island Sailing Club.

The Northerly breeze has a cold edge to it for the opening day of the premier RYA Youth event and could produce some shifty conditions out in the Bay.

Four reigning champions will be bidding to retain their crowns:

Isabel Davies (420 girls), Gemma Keers (420 girls), Alex Smallwood (420 boys) and Andy Brown (RS:X), all winning their first Youth National titles in Plas Heli, Wales last year.

Local sailors from Itchenor SC, Isabel Davies and Gemma Keers will face stiff competition from 2016 Youth Nationals medallists Hatty Morsley-Pippa Cropley in the 420 class.

While Hayling’s Nick Robins is the only returning 29er boys’ medallist and will pair up with Billy Vennis-Ozanne.

Pre-event briefing - Click image for a larger image

In the girls’ 29er fleet, Courtney Bilbrough and Hanna Brant, third last year, will race at their second Youth Nationals together.

Whilst 2016 silver medallists Hattie Rogers and Orla Mitchell will now compete against one another with respective new teammates Eve Townsend and Freya Black.

The 54-strong Laser Radial fleet is set to be one of the most competitive classes with a number of sailors aiming to clinch championship honours, including Ben Whaley and Milo Gill-Taylor.

In the girls’ fleet, it will be Podium Potential Pathway’s Clementine Thompson versus the best of the Youth.

Jake Farren-Price and Daniel Whiteley, who made the Radial podium last year, have moved up to the Laser fleet as they test their mettle against seasoned Standard sailors.

Podium Potential Pathway members Sam Whaley and Jack Cookson will start the week as front runners.

Click image for a larger image

HRH The Princess Royal, President of the Royal Yachting Association, will also visit the event on Thursday (13 April).

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