Perse pupil on the crest of a wave after winning national sailing title
4 Jun 2019
Joey Taylor (left)
Joey Taylor (left)
Joey Taylor (Year 9) has been crowned national champion following victory at the Tokio Marine HCC UK RS Feva Sailing Championships in Wales.
The Perse pupil, representing Blackwater SC, was joined by partner Tery Hacker (Hunts SC) as they claimed a comfortable triumph over their nearest rivals in the competition at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club, Abersoch.
It is an even more impressive feat as the pair have only been racing in an RS Feva – a two-person vessel designed for junior duos or one adult/one child pairs – since last year and follows a fourth-place finish in their first major competition, the UK Winter Championships, last December.
Winds were forecast to build throughout the four-day regatta, but the first day proved relatively calm as Joey and Terry finished eighth, seventh and fourth respectively in the opening three races to end the day eighth overall.
The predicted breezes came on day two and Joey and Terry used it to great effect as they won the first race and were runners-up in the next two races to take the overall lead and qualify to compete in the gold fleet for the remainder of the championships.
As the pair topped the standings, they wore gold championship leader bibs going into day three. Joey admitted: “This was probably the most pressure I have felt at an event, knowing all the other teams would be looking at us and wanting the No 1 spot for themselves.”
Unfortunately, things did not go to plan in the first race of the day as they capsized and found themselves in 30th position at the windward mark of the course only to recover strongly to finish 10th. However, they bounced back with a comfortable victory in the next race and a second place in the third race to retain their overall lead.
The final day saw conditions at their toughest, but Joey and Terry thrived in the stiff winds and waves as they prevailed in all three races to finish 22 points clear of their nearest rivals in the overall standings and take the title.
Joey said: “We really enjoyed the regatta and the SCYC were fantastic hosts. Terry and I worked really well together as a team and this definitely contributed to our win.”
They will now be seeking more success in the Inland Championships at Rutland Water later this month before heading to the World Championships in Italy in July.