School sailors at 2012 site

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Lawrence Sheriff School’s Edward Middleton-Smith, 12, was one of 40 youngsters selected to represent Northamptonshire at the National Schools Sailing Association (NSSA) 50th Golden Jubilee Regatta at Weymouth and Portland last week.

Edward, who has only been sailing for a couple of years, sails and windsurfs several times a week locally at Hollowell Sailing Club, who were lucky enough to have 12 of their Youth Squad sailors in the team.

There were 28 teams taking part from all over the UK with 500 boats taking part and over 600 sailors. The week started with a Royal visitor as The Princess Royal spent several hours at the Sailing academy talking to competitors and going out on the water to see the racing first hand.

The Regatta was the last event to be held at the Sailing Academy before it was handed over to the Olympic committee for the Olympic Sailing in two weeks time.

On Thursday the Olympic torch came to the Sailing Academy and teammate Aimee O’Brien from Guilsborough School was selected as one of two children from the 600 children there to accompany the torch, by boat, with torch bearer double gold medal winning sailor, Rodney Pattisson.

The torch was carried from the venue in Portland into Weymouth Harbour on its journey to meet rowers out in the bay.

The challenging stormy conditions of big seas and high winds meant the team had a really tough week of sailing, with a few injuries, some equipment failure and a mixed pot of results.

The highest positions achieved were a 3rd and Best Girl in the Topper class and a 2nd in the Laser class, all awards were presented by Sailing Olympic Gold medallist Paul Goodison.

Edward said: “It was fantastic sailing and our reward to remember was the best result ever!” as they were triumphant, winning the overall Best Team Trophy for the first time since 1979. Not bad for inland sailors!”