Gwynedd to host future Olympic sailing stars

Reporter:

Tomos Hughes

PWLLHELI will welcome the Olympic sailing stars of the future when it hosts the prestigious Optimist European Championship 2015 next July.

Around 250 of the  world’s top young sailors from over 45 countries will travel to  the Llyn Peninsula for what is always one of the most fiercely contested events on the international junior racing calendar.
 
The Optimist class is widely regarded as the breeding ground for future international sailing success with four-time Olympic champion Sir Ben Ainslie and Wales’ own London 2012 470 class silver medalist, Hannah Mills, both Optimist graduates. Over 90% of sailors at London 2012 raced Optimists as juniors. 
 
Pwllheli will stage the Optimist European Championship from 18-26 July 2015, and last week 64 youngsters from 11 nations, from as far afield as India, Hong Kong and Bermuda, put the venue to the test at the 2014 Optimist International Clinic (22-25 July) and Pwllheli International Optimist Regatta (26-27 July).
 
Bob Lowe, Chairman of the Events Committee in Pwllheli said: “We’re very much looking forward to hosting the Optimists in Pwllheli. Pwllheli is a special place where you are guaranteed a warm welcome. 

"With the fabulous sailing waters of Cardigan Bay and a beautiful backdrop of the Snowdonia National Park everyone will have a memorable championships on and off the water."
 
Welsh sailors came out on top at the weekend’s regatta with Cardiff Bay YC’s William Hall taking victory ahead of Malta’s Victoria Schultheis. Hatty Morsley (Port Dinorwic) and Christopher Jones (Pwllheli) claimed third and fourth spots respectively.

Both Hatty and William, along with Rhys Lewis, are part of the five-strong Great Britain team for the Optimist World Championships in Poland in August.
 
Hatty Morsley, 14, said: “Pwllheli is the best place to sail in Britain and it’s good more people get to know what a great place it is. The beach is fab and the waves can be great!”
 
For more information, including full results from the 2014  Pwllheli International Optimist Regatta, visit  www.optimisteuros2015.com, like us on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/optimisteuros2015 or follow us on Twitter @optimisteuros15.

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