Derbyshire quartet perform well at National Sailing Academy

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Four members of Derbyshire Youth Sailing had an unforgettable experience at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy last weekend.

The team set out to do battle in the heats for a place in the Royal Yachting Association Winter Match Racing Series finals, racing in the Elliot 6m keel boats that had been used in the 2012 Olympics.

The Derbyshire team consisted of two sets of siblings - 17-year-old helmsman Lewis Coppinger together with his brother Harrison, 15, and Ben Haynes, 17, and his younger brother Josh, 14.

In their first event together as a team and with only a single short practice session at Carsington Water behind them, they placed sixth overall with one win from their eight races - a fine result against some tough opposition.

Helmsman Lewis said: “We worked really well as a team together and learned a lot from the experience.

“Despite the results not going our way we were getting better all the time. The Elliot six metre boats are fantastic to sail and it was such a privilege to be racing them.

“We’re definitely going to give it another try if the opportunity is there.”

As well as the coaching and racing in the former Olympic boats, they also had the opportunity of being on board the umpire boats or on the committee boat to understand how the officials make their 
decisions and manage the racing.

Crew member Ben added: ““I am definitely interested in learning more about the umpiring side of match racing.

“If we get the rules knowledge that the umpires have, Iam sure we can put it to good effect in the racing and come out with better results.”