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North East & Yorkshire Youth Travellers (NEYYTS) at Pennine Sailing Club

by Ollie Mills & Fiona Spence 29 Apr 2021 20:00 BST 17 April 2021
North East & Yorkshire Youth Travellers (NEYYTS) at Pennine © Claire Newcombe

The first event of the North East & Yorkshire Youth & Junior Travellers Series was held at Pennine SC on Saturday 17 April. The day dawned bright and sunny with light winds. Race Officer Dominic Barnes started on time and set a simple course to let the 26 competitors get used to the lake and the mixed fleet on the start line.

The wind filled and died consistently through the race and those at the front end of the fleet used their experience to pick the shifts to make the most of the course. The series runs a coached regatta division and the 10 boats in this benefited from the on-water coaching to help them interpret the wind conditions. The front of the fleet was evenly matched and some of the Laser fleet - Tom Bates (Radial, Ripon SC), Charli Fensom (Radial, Pennine SC), Henry Redmond (4.7, Covenham SC) and Archie Burton (4.7, Pennine SC) and Ollie Mills (ILCA 7, Pennine SC) and George Colquitt (ILCA 7, Pennine SC) had a good battle with Alex Horsman's Byte CII (Ripon SC).

The Topper of Christopher Hampshire (Ripon SC) and Chloe Mills (Pennine SC) had a good tussle with Hampshire beating Mills on the water. Once handicaps were worked out Bates took the win with Thomas Whitehead's (Filey SC) RS Tera Sport nipping in to 2nd place, closely followed in 3rd by his brother Daniel also in an RS Tera Sport.

After a short delay while the RO moved the start line to the end of the lake after the wind swung and filled in, race 2 set off with the first code flag U disqualification of the day occurring for unlucky Horsman who sailed a great race and would have been up in the points without the DSQ. Elsewhere the front end tussle had been firmly established with Bates, O Mills, Hampshire, Colquitt joined by Ben Whitehead (Laser Radial, Filey SC).

Further down the fleet, the Whitehead brothers in their RS Tera's had good racing against George Spence's Topper (Ripon SC) and Kyla Baxter (Topper, Covenham SC). Meanwhile the Regatta division was hotting up with Ripon's Daniel Shuter putting in a more confident 2nd race closely followed by Molly Wilson in her RS Tera (Filey SC).

After lunch, the wind died leading to a brief postponement. The RO acted quickly once the wind filled in again and got race 3 off rapidly but a general recall and code flag U resulted in three DSQs, the fleet then enjoyed a more consistent wind during the race with Hampshire's Topper winning on handicap, closely followed in second place by Chloe Mills in her Topper, pushing the Laser sailors further down the points. The regatta fleet sailors enjoyed the more stable wind conditions and sailors Finlay Cochrane, Will Day and Zach Williamson (all Ripon SC), in their first away event, enjoyed better results in the more consistent conditions.

Race 4 saw yet more code flag U disqualifications, including Colquitt's second DSQ which put paid to any chance of a top five result. Oliver Mills finally got the better of the Radial and 4.7 sailors to take the race win on handicap. However, the consistency of Bates meant that he took the event win leaving Mills in second overall with Hampshire third overall.

The series welcomed Mrs Jean Dowd and her daughter Anne to the prize-giving and Anne presented the prizes. Jean's husband, John Dowd who died recently after a short battle with cancer, was instrumental to the series getting established in the 1990s and organised the series for over ten years. The series recognises and appreciates the massive contribution John and his family made to the series and youth & junior racing in the region and paused at the prize-giving to acknowledge his passing and his legacy.

This friendly series, which has been running for over 35 years, visits 12 venues across the region and is open to any U19 sailor. Competition at the front of the fleet is consistently high with many national event sailors joining the series. There is also a supported regatta division to encourage less experienced sailors to start racing and help and advice is also available to any family wishing to venture on to the travelling circuit for the first time.

The series is supported by the RYA's Regional Volunteer Team, who have kindly provided individual trophies for the different events this season. The series also enjoys sponsorship from Lulham-Robinson Sailing who have donated prizes for the twelve events. For more information about the series visit

The next event is at Kielder Water SC on 1 May.

Overall Results:

1. Tom Bates. Laser Radial. Ripon SC
2. Oliver Mills. Laser. Pennine SC
3. Christopher Hampshire. Topper. Ripon SC
4. Charli Fensom. Laser Radial. Pennine SC
5. Henry Redmond. Laser 4.7. Covenham SC
6. Alex Horsman. Byte CII. Ripon SC

First Youth - Tom Bates
First Junior - Christopher Hampshire

Regatta Division:

1. Daniel Whitehead. RS Tera Sport. Filey SC
2. Harriet Newcombe. RS Tera Sport. Ripon SC
3. Daniel Shuter. Topper. Ripon SC
4. Molly Wilson. RS Tera Sport. Filey SC
5. Rebecca Newcombe. Topper. Ripon SC

Endeavor Prize - Will Day. Topper. Ripon SC

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