October 20, 2016
Twelve teenage dinghy sailors from clubs across Cumbria, travelled to Worcestershire to compete in the 2016 National Schools Sailing Association Single-handed Team Racing Championships and came home with a trophy for First Under 16 team and medals for third position after a closely fought semi-final.
The Cumbria Youth Sailing Team entered four teams of sailors aged from 14-17 into the event which was held at Upton Warren Sailing Club and attracted an entry of 36 teams from counties across the country.
The team of Reuben Fox Copley, Isabel Abbatt and Edward Russell finished fifth overall and won the Angus Wesley trophy for first Under 16 Team. Holly Monk, Ethan Dawson and George Pulman achieved a third place in semi-finals only just beaten by Derbyshire who went on to win the championship beating the defending champions Cambridgeshire in the final. The all-girl team of Faye Caswell, Hazel Newport and Ellie Clark ended in sixth position having skilfully knocked out some competition for their team mates in the process. Abi Thornley, April Whiteley and Sophie Cogger were in top half of the team but lost some momentum on day two of the event, which was more than made up for by the great singing and support for the others.
Single-handed team racing is an exciting event format which sets two teams of three sailing in single-handed Toppers against each other. This is an event about tactics rather than speed and the Cumbria team benefitted from some extra tuition the weekend before at special coaching sessions at Ullswater Yacht Club run by club members Lester Noble and Jamie Neilson.
Jon Abbatt, who was co-ordinating the Cumbria Team, said: “It was a great team effort and all the sailors were certainly helped by the special training. We are very grateful to the coaches who helped the team and to Ullswater Sailing School, Andrew Bailey and Rebecca Bairstow for the extra Toppers we used for the coaching.”
Photo (top of page): Cumbria Team prizewinners, first under-16 team and the team making it through to semi-final (left to right) Edward Russell, Ethan Dawson, George Pulman, Isabel Abbatt, Holly Monk, Reuben Fox Copley