Year 9 sailors, Dan Patten and Arthur Brown took part in the Youth National Championships at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy over the Easter break.
This major regatta attracts the very best UK youth sailors and the Royal Hospital School duo competed again 64 teams in the highly competitive 29er class. At just 13 years old, they were by far the youngest competitors racing against experienced teams up to 18 years of age.
The racing was held out at sea in the same waters as the 2012 Olympics. There were 4 races each day for the first 2 days then the fleet was split into Gold and Silver fleets based on results from the 2 days. Both Gold and Silver fleets then sailed a further 4 races per day over the following 3 days. The week presented mixed sailing conditions from light shifting winds to very windy conditions with very large and challenging waves. Dan and Arthur had to really dig deep and showed true grit and determination as the week progressed. They far exceeded their own goals and expectations by qualifying and being placed in the Gold fleet and, once there, they proved to themselves, and the other competitors, that they were a force to be reckoned with. The boys sailed with tenacity, determination and style, never wavering to the physical and mental strain of the competition or sailing conditions. Their best results consisted of a 2nd, 11th, 13th and 16th and they finished 29th overall.
HRH Princess Anne, who takes a keen interest in sailing, showed her support at the event.