A 36-strong team of Derbyshire Youth Sailing members is sailing at the National School Sailing Association Golden Jubilee Regatta 2012 in Weymouth this week.
On the same waters that will soon be the venue for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Team Derbyshire are defending their Overall Championship title and many of the individual sailors are in Weymouth to see if they can repeat their personal racing successes as well.
The NSSA Golden Jubilee Regatta is the last event before the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy concludes the final preparations for hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing events. The timing also coincides with the visit of the Olympic Torch to Weymouth.
Derbyshire team manager Melissa Wellbourn said: “This week is going to be a huge amount of fun for the sailors with a serious bit of competition included in the dinghy racing sailing that they equally enjoy. We are really looking forward to getting the racing underway and hopefully the weather will play its’ part in providing some sunshine and moderate breezes and a lot less rain”.
Melissa will be among the team managers who have been invited to an informal tea with HRH Princess Anne, Patron of the Royal Yachting Association, who is attending the event this week.
The Derbyshire team had a boost before the racing started on Monday, when Splash Class sailor Ben Haynes (17) from Matlock, arrived having become the Splash Class British Champion, at a two-day event over the weekend in Christchurch.
Ben Haynes commented: “Racing on Saturday was really hard work with very gusty conditions and heavy rain to contend with and while Sunday provided better weather, the racing was tougher too, as I fought hard to stay ahead. I’m excited about the racing to come in Weymouth and I hope I can do well again”.
The Derbyshire Youth Sailing website is at www.dysailing.com where there’s more information about DYS.