Celebrations as Ipswich school students dominate sailing championships

Three successful students in front of a sailing boat

The RYA Youth National Championships saw two current students finish first in both the male and female classes - Credit: Royal Hospital School

Students from the Royal Hospital School (HRS) in Holbrook, Ipswich, have dominated the podium at a national sailing championship.

The RYA Youth National Championships, held in Pwllheli, Wales, saw two current students finish first in both the male and female classes. 

The male class also saw one student come in second, while a recent school leave came in third.

Year 12, Sebastian Kempe, who is also the current World Youth Sailing Champion, came first in the ILCA6 class, followed by Thommie Grit (also Year 12). Third place went to Will Pank (19), who left the school last year. 

Sebastian Kempe in front of a sailing boat

Sebastian Kempe, who place first in the ILCA6 class, is the current World Youth Sailing Champion - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Nicole Stovell, who joined RHS in January from Bermuda, came first in the ILCA 6 female class. 

Sebastian and Nicole, both from Bermuda, will now go on to represent their country at the Youth Sailing World Championships in the Netherlands this summer. 

Thommie Grit will be representing Great Britain.

Nicole Stovell said: "It went really well for me.

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"My competitors were very focussed so, at times, it was really challenging.

I had to stay very consistent, consolidate and work really hard to keep ahead. 

"I tried my best, had fun and kept the gap I needed to place first."

Sebastian has set his eyes on the Paris Olympics in 2024. 

Earlier this year the teenager told this paper about his competition hopes after searching for a school where he could pursue his dream.

He said: "After the first race I was in second place. That race didn't really go the way I had planned.

"After that, I won five races in a row. 

"It doesn't matter where you were in the last race. What matters is that you come back and perform at your best and hit that rest button."

On the students' performances, director of sailing at RHS, Ed Sibson, said: "To see three of our pupils take their well-deserved place on the podium was a real honour. 

"These pupils work incredibly hard to combine their academic work with their sail training and we all look forward to following their progress in the World Championships this summer."

The Royal Hospital School is a leading independent co-educational boarding and day school for 11-18 year olds.