Young Emsworth sailors aim to be among best of British

Jess Lavery and Georgie Mothersele Picture by Paul Wyeth / RYA
Jess Lavery and Georgie Mothersele Picture by Paul Wyeth / RYA

Emsworth sailing stars Jess Lavery and Georgie Mothersele will lay down the gauntlet to Britain’s top young sailors as they bid to land gold at the 2012 RYA Volvo Youth National Championships for the second consecutive year over Easter.

A record entry of 350 of the country’s best youth dinghy racers and windsurfers will converge on the Welsh waters of Pwllheli Sailing Club in North Wales from Monday for five days to do battle at the RYA’s premier youth racing event. Lavery and Mothersele were last year selected to represent RYA Team GBR at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in the double-handed 420 dinghy after a world-beating performance at the 2011 event at Hayling Island.

On their ISAF youth worlds debut, Emsworth’s golden girls finished the championship within the top ten, a fantastic achievement in such a highly-competitive 420 fleet. The girls went on to claim silver at the 2011 Open 420 Junior European Championships in Nieuwpoort, Belgium in August.

The Emsworth SC duo recently finished fifth overall and second females at the 420 spring championships held on the Olympic waters of Weymouth Bay. The girls will be top of the hit list for this year’s title contenders and will have their sights set on retaining their title and bettering their result at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Dublin this summer.

They will be up against fierce competition from as far as Bermuda, Norway, Sweden and New Zealand.

Among previous big-name RYA Volvo Youth national champions is three-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie, who will be competing for his fourth consecutive gold medal in the Finn class at this year’s 2012 London Olympics.

Among the selection opportunities up for grabs from the event are a host of class youth world and European championship places, as well as selections for the ISAF youth sailing world championships in Dublin and August’s Eurosaf youth sailing European championship in Denmark.

Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, commented: “Last year we saw overall winners crowned on the last leg of the last race of the regatta and some very deserving medallists who went on to pick up a record number of medals at world and European championships last summer.

“The squads have been working very hard over the winter and I have every confidence this year’s event will be every bit as competitive and I hope to see many young sailors benefitting from the fantastic learning experience it will provide.”

Sarah Webb Gosling, who progressed through the ranks to represent Britain twice at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in the Laser Radial and went on to win Olympic gold medals, will be on the panel of ISAF youth worlds selectors.