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GBR's Mueller and Brellisford crowned queens of the desert at Youth World Championships

by Will Carson, RYA 17 Dec 2021 14:31 GMT
Emily Mueller and Florence Brellisford win the 29er class at the Youth Sailing World Championships presented by Hempel © British Youth Sailing

Young guns Emily Mueller and Florence Brellisford were today crowned female 29er world champions as the Youth World Championships in Oman came to a climax.

The pair, both 18, saw off 17 of the world's best young crews to take the title in style, securing the top spot with a day to spare.

Sixteen-year-old Boris Shaw added to the British haul, bringing home a silver medal in the male windsurfing category.

Mueller and Brellisford went into the final race of the regatta knowing they'd secure the gold medal with anything other than disqualification after building up a big enough points gap to second-placed Charlie Leigh and Sophie Fisher of the USA.

With just one race to sail today, the duo finished their regatta - and their time in the 29er class - in true style with a race win.

"We didn't know what to expect coming into this event but we never expected we'd win," said Mueller, from Guildford. "There are so many amazing sailors here, so to have won is really surprising and a real honour. This is our last event in the 29er, so this was the perfect way to go out. We went into the final race knowing that we'd already won on countback, which is amazing."

Florence, from Southend-on-Sea, added: "We'd been in a real battle with the Americans all week, swapping between second and first, and yesterday was the decider. Thankfully went well for us!"

Shaw, from Poole, pictured below, sailed a stellar regatta and, like Mueller and Brellisford, went into the final day with a medal secure.

Unfortunately first place in the boys Techno 293 was out of reach but Shaw was guaranteed the silver.

"I'm really happy - this is my first time at the Youth Worlds so to come away with silver is amazing," Shaw said.

"It's been a really tricky week of light winds and tough racing. I've had to fight my way to the top in most races. It was really good to confirm the silver medal with a day still to go, I was really happy about that and it took the pressure off the final day."

Britain had representatives in all of the 11 classes, an incredible feat in itself.

Lucy Kenyon finished just off the podium in the female windsurfing competition, settling for fourth place, while Ella Geiger was sixth in the female Formula Kite class.

In the boys 29er Leo Wilkinson and Sam Jones were 16th, Julia Staite and Bettine Harris were 17th in the female 420 and Jamie Cook and Will Martin were 16th in the male/mixed 420.

Adam Farrington came home 12th in the male Formula Kite, Coco Barrett was 12th and Sam Dickinson 40th in the male and female ILCA 6 while Jasmine Williams and Alfie Cogger were 10th in the Nacra 15 fleet.

Jack Grundy, national high performance manager at the RYA, said: "This generation have had a hard disrupted couple of years, not just in sailing but at school throughout the pandemic. With training and racing impacted for all youth classes. Many of our sailors only managing to race internationally once before the youth worlds.

"Knowing this, our goal was always simply to get the sailors there safely, creating a strong team atmosphere and maximise the learning for the sailors.

"It's been really good for the us all to have such a great event and outcome to focus on throughout the winter months. For the team to come away with medals is huge bonus and true testament to the sailors, parents and coaches.

"We hope this can further inspire more youth and junior sailors and these successes are the start of a long life in the sport."

For full results see worldsailingywc.org/results

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