Scott Wilkinson from Tenterden, Kent, a member of Rye Harbour Sailing Club, was presented with his RYA London and South East Youth Champion Award by British Sailing Team members Dylan Fletcher and Sophie Ainsworth at the RYA Dinghy Show on 4 March.
In the awards Scott (15) was recognised as one of ten promising young sailors from across the UK after beating off competition from around the world to win the 2017 Topper World Championships. Nearer home Scott won the Topper National Series, meaning that he was ranked number 1 in the UK last year, and he came second at the national championships.
Scott said of receiving his award: “I feel honoured to have received this award from Sophie Ainsworth and Dylan Fletcher. I am now enjoying being part of the RYA T1 Squad in my Laser Radial and I am looking forward to competing in the RYA Youth Championships at Largs in April.”
“We’re delighted to present these young sailors with their awards today” said Olympic sailor Sophie Ainsworth. “Dylan and I both started out sailing in these kind of events and
championships and it’s great to meet such ambitious young sailors who have so much passion for the sport. My advice to them is practice as much as you can but to also have fun and to enjoy it”.
Created in 2014, the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards recognise the outstanding achievement and performance of young people across the range of activities the RYA represents, including sailing, windsurfing and powerboating.
Scott’s success was helped by sailing and being coached for a year in the RYA South East Topper Zone squad before progressing to the RYA Intermediate Junior Squad for a year and then the RYA Junior Squad.
Scott was selected for the award by the RYA London and South East Regional Committee, whose Chair Helen Hoffman said: “We are delighted to have Scott as the RYA London and South East Youth Champion 2018. His dedication and talent enabled him to excel in the Topper World Championships and we wish him every success and enjoyment for his sailing future.”
Richard Hopper of Rye Harbour Sailing Club added: “Scott, his sister and parents joined Rye Harbour Sailing Club in 2008 and all the family have been very active in supporting the club.”
For more information on the RYA Regional Youth Champion Award visit www.rya.org.uk/go/youthchampion
For more about Rye Harbour Sailing Club visit http://www.rhsc.org.uk