We proudly sponsor the Royal Torbay Yacht Club Juniors, and have recently donated some covers for which were fitted at Hayling Island sailing club where they have a weekend training session with the Class National Squad and UK Youth Sailing Squad.
Julia Barnes (helm, aged 13) & Lauren Paton (crew, 15) are the 2016 RS Feva Ladies World Champions!
They have only been sailing regularly since they got together just under 2 years ago.
Based at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club and training with the RYA ‘South & South West’ Zone Squad the girls had been steadily improving over the last 12 months although this wasn’t reflected in their other recent results.
They started sailing through the Torbay Youth Sailing Trust scheme and progressed through the RYA start sailing levels organized at RTYC.
They had entered last year’s World Championships and been placed mid Bronze Fleet and so went to this year’s competition hoping to race in ‘Gold fleet’ (ie the top 50 boats, boys & girls) for the finals. To do this they had to perform well in the qualifying 2 days.
The light wind conditions at Santander suited them and the rolling swell was very similar to home sailing in Torbay. However, with 165 boats competing from 17 countries, even divided into 3 seeded flights, there were 53 boats on each start line and the girls had only limited experience of big fleet racing.
Good results in the first 2 days of qualifying races (including an overall 1st place) meant that they started to get noticed and achieved their gold fleet place, ranked 23rd overall. More importantly they were also 4th placed girls and our team started to think about a podium possibility.
Three days of finals followed with difficult conditions – light winds and strong tides. The girls gradually crept up the rankings so that they went into the final day’s racing as 2nd place girls by a single point.
By the final day, nerves were showing. Despite fierce competition, Julia & Lauren managed to just edge ahead and won the Ladies World Championships ahead of the Italian & Dutch teams!
Keep up the good work ladies, we are proud of you!
If you would like to keep up to date with their progress, click here.