Pontefract sisters sail to world title glory

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PONTEFRACT sailing sisters Emma and Rachel Grayson (pictured) contributed to the recent British success down under when they added the Junior Ladies World Title to the European title they won in August in the mirror dinghy class.

The 2011 Mirror World Championships took place in Albany, Australia and saw the young duo in impressive form despite having to battle choppy seas and exhausting solid 20-25 knot winds most of the week.

Emma, 14, and Rachel, 12, ranked highly among the senior dominated fleet too, the West Yorkshire Beaver Sailing Club duo finishing fourth overall in the ladies fleet on the way to securing the junior title.

Delighted Rachel said: “We were kind of hoping to be first juniors overall, but it was really good to be first junior ladies.

“At the Europeans there weren’t so many sailors and they weren’t from so many countries, but this was the best sailors from all over the world so it’s really good to have got this result.

“Being pond sailors at our club the wind and chop was quite tough to deal with, but there wasn’t much tide there which was good for us – we sail better when there’s not tide.

“We struggled a bit with consistency, though, we had some good races and some bad ones. The heavy stuff was quite hard for us to keep up with and the boys were able to keep up with it a bit better.”

RYA youth racing manager Duncan Truswell added his congratulations: “We’ve started this year off with some tough competition and an ambitious programme. The RYA, the classes, and the parents have invested a lot of resources to support the teams representing GBR all over the world and we have all been avidly watching the results roll in.

“It’s been an exciting start to the year and I am particularly passionate that our teams are learning a lot, having fun and are committed to a future in our fantastic sport. Seeing them coming away with some really great results is a cracking bonus.

“The sailors have sacrificed a lot and worked really hard on boat handling, fitness, and communication as well as preparing their equipment and working to deliver against long term plans. It is great to start to see them reap some really impressive results from their hard work.

“This I’m sure will set our junior and youth squad sailors off with a really positive mind set for the season ahead – I look forward to what the rest of the year brings with it.”