York sets sights on gold

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Robert York, an aspiring Olympian from Skegness, will be competing for gold and glory against the UK’s most talented youth sailors at the upcoming 2014 RYA Youth National Championships.

Over 385 of the country’s finest youth dinghy racers and windsurfers will converge on the south coast of England for five days of racing between 14-18 April to do battle on the Olympic waters of Weymouth and Portland in what is regarded as the nation’s premier youth sail racing event.

The 18-year-old from Skegness Grammar School, who spent last summer training with Olympic bronze medallist Bryony Shaw at the same venue, finished fourth at the 2012 event at Largs Sailing Club, Scotland, narrowly missing out on the podium.

However, with the windsurfing prodigy racking up an impressive and consistent run of results since last year’s regatta, including a first place finish at the recent RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series event in Weymouth, York will undoubtedly be a hot contender for a medal at this year’s event.

Over the years the regatta has helped to identify and develop some of Britain’s most talented sailors, including multiple Olympic gold medallists Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and Sarah Ayton.

As always the event doubles up as a selection event for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships, which this year take places in Tavira, Portugal, in July.

John Derbyshire, RYA racing manager and performance director, said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming the nations brightest and best talent to WPNSA for a great week of competition, not only is the event a high profile multi class selection opportunity it’s also a huge spectacle, great fun and a fantastic showcase for our sport and platform for young sailors, including those new to their youth boats.”

This year Sarah Webb Gosling OBE, who progressed through the ranks to represent Great Britain twice at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in the Laser Radial and went on to win two consecutive Olympic gold medals at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, will be among the panel of ISAF Youth Worlds selectors at WPNSA.

The sailors will also have the chance to showcase their talents in front of a Royal audience after confirmation that HRH The Princess Royal will be attending the event on Thursday, April 17.

For further information visit the RYA Youth National Championships event.