SUFFOLK sailor Shaun Allen has won the Shearwater National Championships for the third year in succession.

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Working with his crew Claire Robinson, Mr Allen, a member of Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club (FFSC), successfully defended his title aboard Carbon Footprint, at the 56th annual event held at Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club.

Eighteen boats competed in the eight race series, with practice race, last month.

Mr Allen honed his skills at Felixstowe and is now encouraging youngsters inspired by the likes of Ben Ainslie – the most successful Olympic sailor of all time after adding a fourth gold to his collection at the London Games – to give sailing a try.

“I think there is a perception that sailing is difficult to get involved with, that becoming a member of a sailing club is complicated and there is also an assumption it is a bit of an elitist sport, due to the perceived expense involved,” he said.

“However FFSC has an extensive programme of youth sailing activities which are easy and simple for youngsters to get involved with and not as expensive as people believe.

“Organisers of 2012 are hoping the legacy of London 2012 will be to ‘inspire a generation’ and with sailing being such an integral part of British Olympic success we are hoping the games will attract more youngsters to the sport and are keen to highlight how simple it is to give sailing a try, especially in a coastal county like Suffolk.”

Based at the mouth of the River Deben, FFSC embraces dinghy sailing, yachting and a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) approved teaching centre for younger members called Felixstowe Ferry Youth Sailing

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