Regatta success to lead to further sailing action in Gorleston

Sailing action from the National School Sailing Association regatta at Gorleston (picture credit Cal

Sailing action from the National School Sailing Association regatta at Gorleston (picture credit Callum Mitchell, National School Sailing Association) - Credit: Callum Mitchell, National School Sailing Association

Gorleston will stage two new youth regattas next summer after the success of hosting a major national event for 300 young sailors.

Last week, the National School Sailing Association held its annual regatta in Norfolk for the first time.

Event commodore Andy Goff from Gorleston said that, following the success of the prestigious event, the Gorleston and Great Yarmouth Sailing Club planned to hold two separate youth regatta days for local teams next summer to keep the momentum going.

National association treasurer James Conway said: “Three hundred youngsters sailing at one time is an impressive sight, but there are not many coastal venues that can deal with such an event.

“Gorleston’s beach, bay, wind conditions and facilities were great and we would love to come back again one day.”

Many of the young competitors were racing on the sea for the first time.

“It was a new challenge and they gained experience dealing with fast running tides to their advantage, he added.

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Mr Conway said he hoped that regatta had also benefited local traders and businesses, with youngsters and their families visiting other attractions during their stay.

The regatta was supported by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement District.

BID board member and chairman of its future events committee, Lyndon Bevan, said: “This new event for the area proved to be a great success – and hopefully introduced many more people to Gorleston’s wonderful beach and attractions, as well as the wider area.”

Mr Goff said his personal highlights from the regatta included the size of the crowds watching the regatta’s main event the Mount Haes Trophy, won by Cambridge, and seeing two Finn dinghies – like that used by Olympic medallist Ben Ainsley - in action.

The overall winners were Kent, who retained the overall team trophy, but Mr Goff praised the Norfolk team who did very well for a small team.

Norfolk highlights included:

• Oscar Norris and Sam Archer winning the Rookie Handicap

• Benjy Jeffries 2nd in the Rookie Toppers (Edward Mann 4th, Jamie Logsdon 9th)

• Tom Thirkettle 9th and Edward Wildman 10th in the full rig Lasers

• Sophie Thirkettle and Emily Haslam 8th in the slow handicap

• Ellie Edwards 2nd and Will Penny 9th in the singlehanded Topper trophy

• Tony Pearce coming 2nd in the Topper fleet (Will Penny 4th, Ellie Edwards 6th and first girl)