Nautical youngsters have wind in their sales after regatta wins - The Rugby Observer

Nautical youngsters have wind in their sales after regatta wins

Rugby Editorial 5th Aug, 2023   0

NAUTICAL youngsters from Draycote Water Sailing Club have the wind in their sails after picking up trophies at one of the country’s largest youth sailing regattas.

The club hosted 174 competitors from across England at the NSSA (National School Sailing Association) National Youth Regatta.

An opening ceremony for the week-long event saw the teams led by a bagpiper in a parade from the visiting competitors’ campsite to the sailing club.

At a stage set up for the occasion, competitors were welcomed by Club Manager Dave Rowe and Commodore Will Whittaker, and video ‘good luck’ messages from sailing superstars including quadruple Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie were screened.

Five days of racing followed, with competitors split into seven different fleets. The more experienced racing sailors competed 14 races on two different courses.

Draycote Water SC members took podium places in three of the seven fleets, with Noah Byrd from Rugby winning the Felixstowe Salver for the best under-14 helm, and Ed Whittaker from Leamington winning the City of Plymouth Salver for the best under-12 helm.

Wednesday morning was reserved for special trophy races followed by an all-comers pursuit race for all the competitors. Draycote members won the top five places, with teenager Joe Rowe from Rugby claiming overall victory.

A ‘Regatta’ fleet for the less experienced racers completed 18 races, with team leaders and coaches on hand to help them develop their skills.

Draycote member Peter Astley from Broadwell finished in sixth place – just 13 months since he sailed his first race with the club.

Rugby GP Norman Byrd, who was the Regatta fleet race officer, said: “The progress in the fleet over the week was tremendous and wonderful to see. By the end, everyone was racing purposefully and nearly all of them will be able to cope in the ‘main’ fleets next year.”

A prize giving ceremony closed off the week, with trophies presented not only for top places but also for acts of seamanship, sportsmanship and contribution to the event.


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