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Sailing back at London Youth Games

by Emma Slater, RYA 23 May 2008 08:49 BST 7 June 2008

Sailing has once again made its way in to the line up of events in this year’s London Youth Games, after an absence of five years, much to the delight of RYA Regional Development Officer, Guy Malpas.

Guy, along with RYA OnBoard Development Officer for Central and East London, Steve Mitchell have been instrumental in bringing sailing back to the games; working closely with the Youth Games organising committee and a number of clubs and centres in London over the past year, to enable youngsters from across the 33 London boroughs to get out on the water and engage in some competitive racing as part of the Games programme.

“There is very little opportunity in London for young sailors to race against other, so what better opportunity to pitch their skills and get a taste for competitive sailing than at London’s largest youth sporting event and what will prove to be the largest youth sailing regatta,” Guy commented.

Over 100 kids, from across the 16 London boroughs entering the Sailing events have now registered to take part in the regatta which takes place on Saturday 7 June, at London’s Royal Victoria Docks.

One competitor looking forward to the challenge is 14 year old David McAdam from Wapping. David, who attends the London Nautical School has been sailing for about four years and will be competing in the games as part of the Tower Hamlets team. He told us: “I am really looking forward to taking part in the games, a bit nervous but very excited. I’ m pretty competitive so hope to do well, winning would be fantastic but I’m sure the competition will be pretty fierce, so I will just give it my best shot.

“It’s fantastic having this event in London as it’s great to get outside and do something different. Sailing is such great fun, I love the speed and it really gets the adrenaline going.”

The regatta will be made up of five events – male and female Oppie Junior events for the 9 to 12 age group. The male and female Pico senior events for 12 to 17 age group and a mixed Pico event for all ages, which each team must compete in. All events are open to children of any ability from beginners to more advanced sailors.

As well as being one of the few opportunities for kids to experience competitive racing the London Youth Games will also be an excellent opportunity to do some talent spotting.

“It’s great to see so many youngsters taking part in the sailing events, we will definitely have our eyes open to spot any potential champions of the future. Who knows we could have a future 2012 Olympic sailor in our midst!” commented Steve Mitchell. “However, on a more serious note events like these work hand in hand with the work the RYA does across the country and within London introducing youngsters to the sport, providing more opportunities to go sailing and keep them interested in the sport.

“Having events like these in London go to prove that you don’t need to live by the sea to go sailing,” Steve concluded.

For more information about the London Youth Games visit