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Welsh sailor Dan Whiteley crowned at RYA Youth National Championships

by Hamish Stuart, RYA Cymru-Wales 18 Apr 2017 15:18 BST 10-14 April 2017
Laser Gold for Daniel Whiteley at the RYA Youth Nationals © Paul Wyeth / RYA

North Wales sailor Dan Whiteley was crowned Laser class UK champion after five days of challenging racing at the 2017 RYA Youth Nationals.

The three-way tussle between Podium Potential Pathway teammates Daniel Whiteley, Jack Cookson and Sam Whaley went down to wire with places changing race-by-race.

It was last year's Radial bronze medallist Whiteley who overcame his rivals to take event honours finishing three points ahead of Cookson. Whaley finished second in the final race of the event to wrap up his regatta in third.

Whiteley described his rollercoaster week, "It's been a really closely fought battle all week, to come away with a win is a dream come true.

"I always thought I would be able to do it, it got a bit close at the end but I managed to come through and to win is just great."

With the scores incredibly tight between the three, Whiteley was able to win two of the last three races to give himself a cushion going into the final round, leaving Cookson and Whaley to battle it out at the top.

Coming in fourth in that final race was enough to secure the title for Whiteley, consistency was key for the Bangor sailor with top five finishes in all his scoring races.

The 379 sailors were tested in an array conditions on the waters of Hayling Island, with all except the 29er silver fleet completing a full series.

There were other strong Welsh performances. After a slow start to week in the 420, Rhys Lewis (Cardiff Bay YC) and Drew Wright came into their own as they worked their way up the fleet to finish as second boys and third overall.

It was a closely fought battle for silver in the 420 Girls coming down the final race as Katie Davies and Midge Watkins (Itchenor SC) edged two-points ahead of Port Dinorwic's Hatty Morsley and Pippa Cropley (Royal Lymington YC) who took bronze for the second year running.

Mark Nicholls, Event Director, said: "It's been an absolutely fantastic week at Hayling Island.

"The club and the volunteers are outstanding and have really supported a wonderful event. "The weather has cooperated and the standard of sailing has been the highest I think I've ever seen. It's been a brilliant event.

"I look forward to welcoming you all to Largs next year."

For further information please visit the RYA Youth National Championships website, British Youth Sailing Facebook page, on Twitter at @RYAyouthracing and on Instagram @britishyouthsailing. Share your comments with us using #RYAYouths.

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