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Wales's top young sailors shine in the rain at 2019 Welsh Regional Championships

by Hamish Stuart 25 Sep 07:20 BST 21-22 September 2019

Around 80 of the best up and coming sailors in Wales braved some testing weather conditions in the sea off Mumbles in the 2019 Welsh Regional Championships.

The Welsh Regional event is part of the British Youth Sailing Championships, with similar trials for the best young sailors being held all round the UK.

Llandudno sailors came down from North Wales to take two of the top prizes in the main fleets, with Cardiff Bay and Pembrokeshire Performance Sailing Academy (PPSA) also claiming top spots.

One of the most impressive performance was the General Handicap fleet win for 13 and 12-year-olds Freddie MacClaverty and Kiera Luke from Llandudno, winning the last two races to come out on top of the Under 18 category in their junior RS Feva boat.

Llion Morris, of Llandudno/Rydal Penrhos, claimed two wins out of the four races possible to claim the Topper title. Llandegfedd's Alicia Biggs was eighth overall and top girl.

It was Cardiff Bay's Ellie Creighton who came out on top overall in the Optimist class, thanks to a perfect record of four wins, with second place in the final race taking Cian Epstein of Llangorse into second overall and top boy.

It was a PPSA one/two in the RS Tera Sport category with Macsen Barber coming first up against clubmate Sirene Le Petit.

"We managed to complete the event this year with four races on the second day after the first was just too windy," explained RYA Cymru Wales High Performance Manager Paul Simes.

"It was challenging conditions, heavy rain with strong gusts of wind, however even the Regatta fleets, which is ages eight up to 11, completed four races.

"The main fleet were out there for four hour-long races, and there were still loads of smiling faces at the end.

"It helped the weather got better and we finished in sunshine, but you have to applaud our sailors - they put themselves through the mill to try and go away with a medal.

"There were many impressive performances. To have a Feva win in the General Handicap fleet is unusual, Freddie and Kiera won the last two races and that was one of the highlights because they are aged 12 and 13, beating 17-year-old children.

"Another outstanding performance was Alicia Biggs, in the Topper fleet, finishing first girl. She has not been doing it that long and has come a long way from the back of the fleet to the front of the fleet.

"Cian Epstein in the Optimists main fleet has worked his way into the Wales national squad and finishing as top boy here was a breakthrough for him.

"Numbers overall were good, 60 boats in the main fleet, 15 more in the regatta fleet, so eighty odd sailors here despite the forecast for Saturday.

"This is always one of the highlights of the Welsh boating calendar, but next year this event will be a major selection event, along with the Welsh Youth and Juniors Championship, for anyone who wants to be picked for the Welsh squad and the pathway to international honours because the RYA are choosing not to have RYA UK Junior Squads from October 2020 onwards."

In the Regatta Fleets, there was a Topper win for Edward Corbett, Llangorse, while top girl on home waters was Florence Tovey of Mumbles.

Matilda Corbett, Llangorse, came first in the Optimist, with Cardiff Bay's Emily Kinsella second and Rowan Joseph of PPSA in third.

Stella Le Petit won the RS Tera Sport category of the Regatta Fleets, with PPSA clubmate Keira Edwards in second.

For further details about Welsh sailing and watersports, please go to RYA CYMRU Wales page on website or Facebook page or follow on Twitter @RYACymruWales. You can also keep up to date by following RYA Cymru Wales on Instagram.

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