Top Four

Boardseeker went up to Largs on the last day of the RYA Youth Nationals to try and catch some \’last day\’ action and find out who would be \’selected\’ to go to the Youth Worlds event in Brazil this summer.

It was windy but being easterly the wind was coming down off the nearby hills causing the wind to be \’unworkable\’ – think horrendous gusts, wind shadows and the odd bit of spin drift thrown in for good measure. So the results were already decided across all fleets (Lasers/420\’s/29ers and of course the RS:X).

However we did get to feel some tension, mainly amongst the parents, as the high and mighty RYA Selectors decided which Youths to take to Brazil to represent Britain and they could only take one boy and girl from each fleet. Usually it is the winner of this event but sometimes they can over rule that and then the fireworks start!

In the RS:X fleet, Ali Masters from Bristol was joint first with Hull boy George Bowles. Ali has a wealth of experience on the RS:X and has done very well internationally. George came from no where, having jumped onto the RS:X kit for the first time last autumn, this was his first major event. But it was decided to take Ali to represent Team GBR. George did get a good \’pat on the back\’ and will no doubt jump up the funding ladder following his remarkable result here.

And lets not forget Connor Bainbridge who finished third – the tallest boy in the fleet but also one of the youngest being 15 years old compared to the 17 year old Ali and George. Great result for him.

The girls sail with the boys in the RS:X fleet and that is quite embarrassing for some of the teenage boys as Izzy Hamilton beat a whole load of them to finish fourth overall. Cornish Izzy was top girl last year and at 17 yrs old is a real contender for the 2016 Games, if not the 2012 Olympics, although Bryony would have to do a lot wrong NOT to be chosen!

So the boys & girls left Largs on Friday evening moaning about their long trips home (except for the Scottish contingent) and the RYA Youth Tour bumbles on, draining parents of time and money, causing angst and anxiety amongst the competitors and providing good entertainment for the waiting media – ie, US!

Full list of results at

Photo: From left to right: Ali, George, Connor and Izzy.

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