Welwyn Garden City sailor crowned national champion

Annabel Catermole and Bryony-Bennet Lloyd

Annabel Catermole and Bryony-Bennet Lloyd - Credit: Marc Turner

WELWYN Garden City sailing star Annabel Catermole was crowned RYA Youth National Champion as the RYA Youth National Championships 2013 came to a close after five days of adrenaline-charged racing at Largs Sailing Club, Scotland.

Annabel Catermole and Bryony-Bennet Lloyd

Annabel Catermole and Bryony-Bennet Lloyd - Credit: Marc Turner

As well as picking up the 2013 title in the female double-handed 420 dinghy class with her sailing partner Bryony Bennett-Lloyd, 17-year-old Catermole, who is a member of WGC Sailing Club, was announced as one of the 12 sailors who will represent Great Britain at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships 2013.

The names of the sailors who will travel to Limassol, Cyprus from July 11-20 to defend the ISAF Youth Worlds Nations Trophy which RYA Volvo Team GBR won last year in Dublin Bay, were revealed by double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton OBE at the prize-giving of the RYA Youth National Championships on Friday.

The 2013 regatta attracted 333 sailors from around the country, as well as international competitors from Ireland, Serbia and New Zealand.

After her success, Catermole said: “It’s a fantastic feeling, we have been working towards it for two-and-a-half years and it’s finally come round and we are really excited.

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“It really is incredible, we were having our pictures taken earlier and it just made it feel so real that we have actually achieved it. We have been working so hard for it for so long and now it’s happened.”

Catermole and Bennett-Lloyd finished third overall, only seven points off the top spot to take the female title. The pair posted a consistent scoreline across the five days of racing including a race win and a number of top three finishes.

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“We entered Friday’s races thinking that we could do it and beat the boys but unfortunately we had some tough last races and we didn’t quite perform as we wanted to in that last race so we finished third overall which we are happy with,” said Bennett-Lloyd. “We had a good points lead over the other girls for the ISAF Youth Worlds spot so we’re really happy.

“It’s been quite a tough week.

“It is a really nice place to sail and the event has been well organised and I have definitely enjoyed sailing here up in Scotland.”

Previous winners of the RYA Youth National Championships include some of Britain’s most talented sailors, such as multiple Olympic gold medallists Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and Sarah Ayton.

“Watching the 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth and Portland this year was really inspiring and to think that might be us in several years’ time as we are following in Olympians’ footsteps is unbelievable,” continued Catermole.

“It’s going to be a great experience to compete in what is regarded as the ‘Youth Olympics’ of sailing.

“We will be doing lots of fitness over the next few months in the build-up to the event, working on the arms to try and build them up for the pumping in Cyprus and training really hard with start lines especially. The competition is going to be very tough as we will be going up against the best sailors from around the world so we will need be at our best come July,” concluded Catermole.

On the selection of RYA Volvo Team GBR, Duncan Truswell, RYA youth racing manager said: “I am delighted to welcome the members of RYA Volvo Team GBR 2013 to an exclusive club, they have a great opportunity to not only to represent GBR at one of the most prestigious sailing events in the world but also to learn a huge amount and have a fantastic experience.

“We have a great mix of veterans from last year’s events and new debutants who are sailing fast and have every potential of achieving at this year’s event. Once again the team are supported by Volvo Car UK and clothed by Henri Lloyd, I am extremely grateful for their continued support to Youth Sailing in the UK.”

For more information on the event please visit www.ryaracingevents.org.uk or follow RYA Volvo Team GBR on Facebook.

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