Penarth youngster leads sailing success for Cardiff Bay Sailors

SAILING STAR: William Hall won a number of trophies at the British National Optimist Championships

BRIGHT FUTURE: Stanwell School pupil William Hall had finished 12th overall in the Senior Fleet (ages 12 - 15)

VIKING: Edward Roberts Straw, aged six-years-old, sailed in the regatta fleet and dressed as a Viking for one of the six days

First published in Sport
Last updated

A YOUNG Penarth sailor has swept the board at the British National Optimist Championships and is now ranked number one in his age category across Britain.

Stanwell School pupil William Hall had an excellent event finishing 12th overall in the Senior Fleet (ages 12 - 15).

He was rewarded with for his hard work by finishing second British sailor, Top British Boy, Top Welsh, Top 14-year-old and Lowest Points for all races. He took home a number of trophies. Following on from a string of good events William is now ranked Number One in Great Britain.

Cardiff Bay Yacht Club had sent more than 20 sailors to the British National Optimist Championships held at the National Sailing Academy in Weymouth last month.

The sailors were also treated to an appearance from the world’s most recognised and decorated Olympic sailor, Sir Ben Ainslie.

The British Nationals is one of the key ranking events for the young Optimist sailors who this year had to compete with sailors from 18 other countries including, USA, Hong Kong, Australia, Belgium, France, Holland and many more.

It was a record turnout across all ages with a total of 460 sailors heading out onto the water. The competition involved sailing over six days for up to six hours per day in some challenging but good conditions with some fabulous British sunshine!

Rhys Lewis finished 57th, Hannah Roberts–Straw 75th, Matthew Leary 79th and Huw Nunn 83rd in the Senior Gold Fleet.

In the Senior Silver Fleet there were also some strong performances by the CBYC sailors with Rhys Williams finishing 12th, Mila Monaghan17th, Sam Kneale 29th, Felicity Allen 63rd and Alice Reynolds 69th.

In the Junior Fleet (ages 8-12) Jamie Cook led the charge with a strong event finishing 13th and 7th Brit, narrowly missing out by one point on being top 11-year-old. Emily Hall also sailed well making Gold fleet and finishing 56th.

The Silver Fleet was a closely fought contest with Alex Lewis finishing with a first place in the last race to finish 4th, Maddie Leary 18th, Emily Cann 19th, Ethan Kneale aged 9 was 21st, Ellie Thomas 54th and Rhianwen Williams 65th.

In Regatta Coaching Jacob Allen was 12th and Tilly Reynolds was 26th.

The real star of the event was Edward Roberts Straw, aged six-years-old, who sailed in the regatta fleet and managed to sail for the whole six days.

One day he was even dressed as a Viking. Clearly one to watch for the future!

With so many sailors on the water head coach Nick Sawyer was kept busy all week, checking rigs, coaching and making sure the sailors stayed focused. He said he was delighted to see so many young sailors representing the club and sailing so well.


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