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Young guns Heathcote and Boyle crowned 420 world champions

by British Sailing Team Media 13 Jul 10:23 BST
Vita Heathcote and Milly Boyle - 420 World Championship 2019 © Paul Wyeth

Lymington teenagers Milly Boyle and Vita Heathcote have clinched the 420 world championship crown after a thrilling finale in Vilamoura, Portugal.

The pair dominated the week-long regatta, notching up eight top ten finishes including three wins over the 10-race series.

They saw their healthy lead cut to just a few points on the final day under pressure from Italian duo Irene Calici and Petra Gregori, but managed to hang on for the win.

Victory was sealed when the last race of the event was abandoned due to lack of wind.

Heathcote and Boyle have risen through the ranks of the British Youth Sailing programme, which aims to develop the world's best young racing sailors.

Last year they represented the British Youth Sailing Team at the Youth World Championships, finishing in second.

"It's the weirdest feeling ever, I still can't believe it's actually happened," said Heathcote, 17.

"The last race was so nerve-racking. After five years of sailing 420s we've finally won the world championships and it's such a good feeling."

Boyle, 18, added: "The Italian girls did so well and deserved everything that they got. We got a little lucky at the end but we will take that. World champions - we'll tick that box off, thank you very much!"

Heathcote and Boyle finished the regatta four points ahead of Calici and Gregori, with Melina Pappa and Maria Tsamopoulou of Greece taking bronze.

Britain's Jess Lavery and Rebecca Coles were eighth. In the boys' fleet, Haydn Sewell and Will Heathcote were the top Brits in 15th.

Full results from the regatta can be found here.

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