Rugby teen sailor crowned world champion - The Rugby Observer

Rugby teen sailor crowned world champion

Rugby Editorial 8th Aug, 2022   0

A TEENAGER from Rugby rules the waves after he was crowned world champion at an international sailing competition held on Italy’s Lake Garda.

Joseph Rowe, 15, took the title in a 144-boat fleet after a close finish for the 2022 Topper World Championships at Riva del Garda.

Harris Church of England Academy student Joe finished a qualifying series of races at the event in sixth, and then added a race win plus a second and a 13th place finish to his scoreline to overhaul the leaders.

This was the same tally as his nearest rival, Bobby Driscoll of Ireland, who finished in silver medal position after Joe was able to take gold by virtue of his race win.

Joe said: “I came out of qualifying in sixth place so it wasn’t easy, there was tough competition and I ended up on the same points as Bobby so it was very close.

“It was a rough week physically and mentally. I had bad days, I had bad races, I had good days and I had good races, so it was a bit like a rollercoaster – but I’m glad it ended on a high.”

Joe, a member of Draycote Water Sailing Club’s academy for youth sailors, thanked his coach Steve Irish, who said: “It was amazing, you don’t get many chances to coach a world champion – and even better, it’s a sailor from my home club.

“We’ve been working together for a number of years since Joe started sailing, and the final day was just so stressful. It was so close and it ended up on even points with Joe just getting the title. A huge well done to Joe!”

Joe’s triumph comes in the wake of a series of successes for Draycote Academy sailors at national and international events this summer, such as the RS Feva World Championship at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy where Freddie Sunderland and Stella Nygard claimed silver, with club mates Millie Irish and Bob Byne finishing fourth.

Academy sailor David Peaty also finished fourth at the RS Aero 5 Youth Worlds.

Freddie also won silver at the singlehanded ILCA4 National Championships at Hayling Island, while other youth sailors from the club have been competing as far afield as The Netherlands, Greece and the USA.


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