Joshua, 13, sails to Derbyshire title

Joshua Haynes, 13-year-old Matlock sailor.

Joshua Haynes, 13-year-old Matlock sailor.

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matlock teenager Joshua Haynes has won the Derbyshire Youth Sailing (DYS) Series Championship 2011.

The 13-year-old, sailing his Optimist class dinghy, has taken the overall Derbyshire series title, in competition with youth sailors up to the age of 18 from across the county.

Last year, Joshua, a member of Trent Valley Sailing Club, was squeezed into second when he was on equal points with the winners, but lost out on the results tie-breaking rule. The competition was close again this year, but this time in Joshua’s favour, as the second-placed boat was again on equal points and the tie-breaking rule came into play once more.

Joshua Haynes said: “I am really happy. I was desperate to win the overall series and be the champion of Derbyshire after coming so close last year. I had led the series this year from the start until last week, when I dropped to second, as well as injuring my back in the strong winds from the remnants of Hurricane Katia, so I had to win the last event to secure the championship.”

Burton Sailing Club was the venue for the final event in the series where the sailors enjoyed the tricky conditions of shifting, blustery winds. The penultimate event was held at Staunton Harold Sailing Club, where the sailors braved the elements to compete in three really tough races.

Joshua also wins the Ben Ainslie Trophy for the second time as the Intermediate age group Series Champion. This year the Junior age Series Champion, winning the Ellen MacArthur Trophy, is Thomas Woodings, aged 11, a member of Carsington Sailing Club and sailing a Topper 4.2 class dinghy.

Chairman of Derbyshire Youth Sailing, Mike Haynes, commented: “It is fantastic that the competition is so hotly contested and has been providing really close results for several years.

“All credit goes to the top sailors who demonstrate the high level of skills they have reached and so clearly enjoy racing”.

Derbyshire Youth Sailing has had an excellent year, including winning the National School Sailing Association annual National Youth Regatta. The Derbyshire series starts again next year in April but the sailors will be spending time over the winter in training and practicing their chosen sport. They will be pushing themselves very hard to improve, because not only will it help them in the Derbyshire series, but for next years Nationals too. As well as 2012 being the Golden Anniversary of the founding of the NSSA, the Nationals will be the last event to be held in Weymouth before the Olympics and the Derbyshire team really want to repeat their success.

Mike Haynes continued: “It is always fantastic to see the younger sailors starting out on their racing sailing activities and it seems not so long ago that Joshua was only just beginning and being ‘penultimate’ was a great result. We’re really proud of his achievements”.

The Derbyshire Youth Sailing prize giving and annual general meeting will be held in November when the Derbyshire Shield and other series trophies will be presented and the National Championship success will be celebrated. For the latest information, go to www.dysailing.com