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Lake Garda awaits for newly selected British Youth Sailing talents

by RYA Press Office 17 Apr 11:08 BST 13-20 July 2024
British Youth Sailing Team 2024: Eloise Smith and Ollie Laker, Nacra 15 © Paul Wyeth / RYA

Fourteen of the nation's top young sailing talents have now been confirmed to represent Great Britain at the Youth Sailing World Championships in Lake Garda, Italy.

They'll be among the 400 competitors from over 70 nations converging on the iconic venue from 13-20 July 2024, with selections made following the conclusion of the 2024 RYA Youth Nationals.

Two spots remain open on the teamsheet, with a selection decision on the British Youth Sailing Team's Formula Kite riders set to be made in early June.

The event will feature eleven events across six classes, including 29er, 420, ILCA 6, Nacra 15, Formula Kite and iQFOiL. For some of the sailors and riders it marks their Youth Worlds debut, while others are back to represent their nation.

Will Ziegler, first time team rider from Queen Mary Sailing Club, will be joining the men's iQFOiL ranks. Delighted in being selected for the team he said: "This feels like it has been a long time in the making! I do feel elated to be given this opportunity to represent GBR in the iQFOiL Class at the Youth Worlds this summer."

iQFOiL windsurfer Darcey Shaw, from Parkstone Yacht Club, will be competing in the Youth Worlds for the second time. Having reached the podium in last year's event, the 2023 bronze medallist said: "It feels great to be selected again and to represent all the UK girls for iQFOiLing."

Selected ILCA 6 sailor Hamish Collingridge, from Waldringfield Sailing Club, will be making his Youth World Championship debut. Following in family footsteps, Hamish's sister Daisy is part of the British Sailing Team and won Youth Worlds bronze in 2017. Hamish expressed: "I feel very honoured to be selected for such a prestigious event. It has been a goal for me for a long time now."

"Lake Garda is such a special venue, which makes the experience even cooler."

Amélie Hacker from Aldeburgh Yacht Club was selected for the ILCA 6 female class and will also be competing in the Youth Worlds for the first time. She said: "It was a goal of mine through the winter. I'm excited to give it my best shot!"

Eloise Smith from Starcross Yacht Club in Devon will be showcasing skills in the Nacra 15 with teammate Ollie Laker from Weston Sailing Club. Eloise shared: "It is an honour to represent the GBR Nacra 15 fleet in Lake Garda. A lot of hard work has gone in."

Ollie added: "I am really looking forward to competing against international Nacra 15 friends Eloise and I have met at other international competitions. Lake Garda is an iconic sailing venue and this will be my first time racing there so it is great to have the opportunity through the Youth Worlds."

The 29er class will be represented by Finian Morris, from the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, competing in a new partnership for this season alongside 2023 Youth Worlds representative Charlie Gran (Hayling Island Sailing Club). Charlie reflected: "From my first Youth Worlds I have learnt that managing your emotions is very important and will heavily contribute to your success," while Finian is 'delighted to be selected for a unique event in a brilliant venue'.

29er Female sailor, Annabelle Vines (Royal Lymington Yacht Club) will be competing at her second Youth Sailing World Championship alongside new teammate Amelie Hiscocks (WPNSA). Annabelle said she is 'proud and excited' to represent GBR for a second time, while Amelie is delighted to 'follow in the footsteps of some of the best sailors we have had in Team GB'.

She added: "Annabelle and I have only been sailing together for four months and have just clicked together. We bring out the best in one another."

The 420 mixed duo Arwen Fflur (Welsh National Sailing Academy - Plas Heli) and Matthew Rayner from (Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club) are both buzzing about their first Youth Worlds selection. Matthew reflected: "A lot of work has gone into this over the past few months, and it is an honour to be selected to compete at the Youth Worlds." Teammate Arwen described it as 'a dream come true'.

Teaming up in the 420 female class will be Sabine Potter from Warsash Sailing Club and Merle Nieuwland from Cardiff Yacht Club. Looking ahead, Sabine explained: "It is my first Youth Worlds. What I am looking forward to the most is being able to compete against the best youth sailors and learn from the whole experience." Merle said she was 'most looking forward to sail in an amazing venue against people from all over the world'.

'Incredible chance for the young sailors'

James Hadden is British Youth Sailing's Team Leader for the event. He said: "Participating in the Youth Sailing World Championships offers an incredible chance for the young sailors to learn and compete against the other nations within a setting similar to an Olympic environment.

"Our young team is eager to embrace the challenge ahead and is looking forward to learning from every opportunity to grow and perform to their fullest on the water."

Racing at the Youth Sailing World Championship runs from 13-20 July. Follow the event latest from @britishyouthsailing on Instagram and World Sailing at Youth Sailing World Championships 2024.

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