Teenager sails to top award

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A teenage sailor from Knaresborough has won the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) North East Youth Champion Award 2016.

Tom Storey, 13, was selected for the accolade out of a range of candidates from around the RYA region and was presented with his trophy by Olympic sailor Giles Scott at a ceremony in London at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show.

“To be awarded the prize for being the best young sailor in the RYA North East Region felt terrific,” said Tom after his prize was presented.

“The rush of adrenaline being up on stage with one of the best Olympic sailors was fantastic.”

The RYA Youth Champion Awards are given to young sailors who show great potential and who already have a proven track record of results.

At only 13 Tom is one of the youngest recipients of the award but his 2015 results show his skill and determination to become one of the best.

Sailing his RS Tera Sport Dinghy, Tom was first at the 2015 World Championships, National Championships, and the Inland Championships and was a key member of the Ripon Sailing Club team, winning the Club Championship at the Tera National Championships at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy last summer.

“I can dream of being an Olympic sailor but I know there’s a long path to get there,” added Tom.

“For this summer I am hoping for some good results in the National and World Championships in the single handed RS Tera class and I am looking to see how I get on in the double handed RS Feva with my crew, Maddie.”

Tom regularly sails at Ripon Sailing Club and Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club and his original award nomination was sent in by both clubs.

“Ripon Sailing Club is lucky enough to currently have a fantastic bunch of dedicated and top performing junior sailors,” said Royd Brayshay, Junior Secretary at Ripon Sailing Club.

He added that there were several members who were worthy winners: “Five of the eight major RS Tera class trophies in 2015 were won by Ripon SC junior sailors.”