by Matt Carter
The RYA can confirm that double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton OBE will be in attendance at the RYA Youth National Championships 2013 as the acting Chair of Selectors.
(L-R) Sarah Webb, Sarah Ayton & Pippa Wilson, Yngling. Olympic Games, Qingdao, China, 2008
The role will encompass selections for the 2013 RYA Volvo UK Youth Squads as well as a host of international teams, amongst them RYA Volvo Team GBR; the team which will represent Great Britain at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships 2013.
The 2013 regatta is being staged at Largs Sailing Club (Scotland) from Sunday 31 March to Friday 5 April where Ayton will lead the panel of RYA selectors.
Ayton, who began her career in an Optimist, quickly progressed through the RYA Youth Racing ranks to represent Great Britain at the 1998 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in the Laser Radial, where she clinched silver at the tender age of 18. With the taste of success, Ayton sailed on to win two consecutive Olympic gold medals at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 to become one of Great Britain’s most successful sailors.
'The RYA Youth National Championships is the premier event on the Youth Racing calendar so it is a real honour to be attending the regatta up in Scotland,' said Ayton.
'I’m certain I will witness some world class sailing in what will be a fun yet competitive week of racing. I’m expecting the standard of racing to be high with some challenging conditions for the sailors to really push themselves in order to earn selection to the RYA Youth Squads and the ISAF Youth Worlds team.
The double Olympic gold medallist continued: 'I am really looking forward to getting out on the water up at Largs Sailing Club and watching all classes compete for the championship titles. I’m sure the young sailors have been working extremely hard over the winter and will be fully charged up and ready to go come the Easter weekend. The one piece of advice I can give to the sailors is to stick to their routines which they would have been working on with their coaches and to just really enjoy the week of racing!'
Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, added: 'Once again we are delighted to welcome Sarah to the team of selectors, her experience and insight adds a lot to an already highly experienced panel who all look forward to witnessing the best of Britain’s young talent battle it out for the top slots in Largs.
'I know that Sarah won’t be able to resist getting involved and offering some feedback and support to the many sailors competing at the regatta, clearly she is a great role model who I know they will be keen to listen to. The turn-out is shaping up to be a good one, with a number of international teams also represented which should add to the feel and flavour of the regatta.'
The online entry deadline for the RYA Youth National Championships 2013 is up until 2359hrs on Sunday 17th March - late entries will not be accepted.
Racing will be held for boys in Laser Standards, girls and boys in Laser Radials and Neil Pryde RS:X 8.5 windsurfers, and for all-boy, all-girl or mixed crews in 420s, 29ers and Spitfire catamarans. The RYA Youth Racing programme receives generous support from official clothing supplier Henri Lloyd.
For more information on the 2013 RYA Youth National Championships please visit the event website.