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CoastWaterSports 2014

British Youth Sailing Team on podium at 29er Europeans

by Imogen Stanley 23 Jul 2015 12:36 BST 17-21 July 2015

There were dual celebrations for the British Youth Sailing Team as the 29er European Championship drew to a close on 21 July in the Netherlands.

Crispin Beaumont-Tom Darling won silver, while Mimi El-Khazindar-Emma Loveridge were crowned Girls' 29er European Champions at the conclusion of the four days of racing.

A broad range of conditions challenged the 130 international teams in Medemblik, however the event race committee managed to complete the full schedule of 42 races across the four days of competition.

Beaumont-Darling excelled in the tricky conditions to put themselves in the hunt for gold as the week went on, surpassing their event goal of a top five finish.

"It was nice having a range of conditions from 4-20 knots of breeze. That makes it a super fair championship, tough racing, but we enjoyed it," commented Darling from Kettering, Northampton.

After seven qualifying races, Halesowen's Beaumont and Darling were seeded fifth in the 25-boat gold fleet. A race win and a string of top five results put the boys in gold medal contention as the penultimate day drew to a close and they prepared for their final three races.

"On the final day we just thought go out and battle, and be really on the attack. We didn't have anything to lose as we had already exceeded our expectations. Our goal was top five. We knew that was set in stone, so we tried to get the gold," explained Darling.

"After a 14th in the second race, we knew we just had to go out and go for it. The French were two points ahead. It is a pity that we only missed out by two points, but we are going to do our best at the Worlds and try to win."

Beaumont and Darling will compete at the Zhik 29er World Championships next month (8-14 August) in Pwllheli, Wales, alongside newly-crowned Girls' 29er European Champions Mimi El-Khazindar-Emma Loveridge.

The 2015 RYA Youth National Champions wrapped up their 29er European title early as the only female pairing to qualify for the gold fleet, unusually boys and girls race together in the 29er fleet.

El-Khazindar enjoyed the win and the week: "We are delighted to have won the girls' European title. We had a full range of weather conditions over the week from 5-20 knots which makes the victory even more satisfying."

As members of the British Youth EUROSAF Sailing Team, Lymington's El-Khazindar and Loveridge, from Stratford Upon-Avon plan to draw on this event experience as they head out to Brest, France for the EUROSAF European Youth Sailing Championships (27 July-2 August) later this week and the Worlds next month.

"This has given us the confidence to aim high at the forthcoming EUROSAFs in France and the World Championships in Pwllheli and we are really looking forward to the summer of racing," concluded El-Khazindar.

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