Joe Butterworth, an RHS sailing scholar has been busy with National Youth Squad and Scottish Elite Squad sailing training during 2012. This has demanded a very high level of commitment with constant travelling most weekends to attend training up and down the country.
Over the Easter holidays Joe took part in the RYA 420 Youth Championships, which was a week’s racing in North Wales. This qualified Joe’s team to the GBR 420 squads for the World and Junior European Championships which took place in Belgium back in July. The Team took part in the Flanders Youth Regatta [420 fleet] where they finished 6th overall, third GBR boat and first under 18 GBR boat in what was regarded as a tough international field in demanding sea conditions.
Later on in July Joe was then asked to sail alongside the Olympic Torch as it crossed Fairlop Water, This was of huge importance to Joe as the sailing school was where he had first learnt to sail. The same day he then travelled to Austria to take part in the 420 World Championships where 28 nations were taking part. The first week was intense training in preparation for the championships. Unfortunately Joe did little sailing as his Helm had to be recalled to the UK unexpectedly. Despite this the Joe and the team achieved their goal and made Silver Fleet finishing 67/108, placing them fifth out of seven GBR boy boats but still the first under 18 GBR boy boat.
The day after the Worlds he then travelled with the team to Lake Garda in Italy to take part in the Junior Europeans where 29 nations took part. Their Goal was to make the Gold fleet and following on from the success at the Worlds combined with fewer distractions, they sailed exceptionally well and easily made the Gold fleet. By the end of the competition Joe and his team were 9th out of 113 boats. This made them the highest finishing GBR Boat, even finishing above the Ladies Champions.
To round up the intensive summer of sailing Joe travelled back to the UK for the National Championships where once again his team exceeded expectations. Their goal was to finish in the top 5 out of 50 boats and their actual placing was 4th along with the top under 18 boat. As if this was not enough due to coming the top under 18 boat, they have gained a place in the RYA Targeted Support Programme which will take place in France during the Autumn half term and Italy in December.
The Royal Hospital School is a coeducational Independent boarding and day school for 11 to 18 year olds set in 200 acres of Suffolk Countryside. http://www.royalhospitalschool.org/