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Winners of 2019 RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards to be presented at RYA Dinghy Show

by Becky Gilbert-Wood 21 Feb 20:08 GMT 2-3 March 2019
Alice Davis © Giles Smith Photography

Eleven promising sailors and windsurfers from across the UK have been revealed as winners of the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards.

Each of the regional and home country champions and their families have been invited to the official awards presentation taking place at 13:30 on Sunday 03 March, at the RYA Dinghy Show. The awards will be presented on the Main Stage by double Olympic silver medallist and RYA Director of Racing, Ian Walker.

Launched in 2014, the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards recognise the outstanding dedication, achievement and performance of talented young people in sailing, windsurfing and powerboating.

This year's winners are:

  • South Alice Davis
  • South West Noah Rees
  • London and South East Freya Black and Millie Aldridge
  • East Joseph Drake
  • Midlands Lydia Barber
  • North East Beth Miller
  • North West Lorcan Knowles
  • Cymru Wales Rhys Lewis
  • Scotland Islay Watson
  • Northern Ireland Erin McIlwaine
Southern Champion, Alice Davis (14) has achieved outstanding results in her RS Tera, RS Feva and now RS Tera Pro sailing. In addition to competitive sailing all over the country, Alice is an active member of the Junior Committee at her sailing club, Great Moor SC and a brilliant role model for young sailors just starting out.

Alice commented: "I'm really pleased and proud to win, there are a lot of great sailors in the southern region and to be chosen for the award is a real achievement.

"I love sailing, on the water you are taken away from everything else on the shore and left to yourself. Not to mention all the friends that I have made over the past few years, the social aspect is amazing and I love every event I go to."

Midlands Champion, Lydia Barber (17) has only been sailing for just over a year, but has shown exceptional enthusiasm and dedication, self-funding most of her equipment through a part-time job.

"The feeling you get when the boat goes fast is like flying, it's so empowering. The Laser Radial is a one-design class, so the results show the skill of the sailor, not the kit money can buy which is a great thing for someone with limited funds like myself" explains Lydia.

"I'm really surprised to have won the award, I haven't been sailing for that long so it's really nice to know that all the practice is working. I can't wait to see what the future brings."

RYA Director of Sport Development, Alistair Dickson commented: "We're delighted to recognise the achievements of these individuals who have all shown lots of hard work, sacrifice and commitment. It's fantastic to see so many young role models and true ambassadors for the sport."

For more information about the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards visit rya.org.uk/go/youthchampion.

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