Brothers sail to glory

FELIXSTOWE brothers John and Alexander Page further outlined their Olympic potential with a win in the Cadet class of the Royal Yachting Association's East Zone Championships.

Stuart Watson

FELIXSTOWE brothers John and Alexander Page further outlined their Olympic potential with a win in the Cadet class of the Royal Yachting Association's East Zone Championships.

Waldringfield Sailing Club members John, 13, and Alex, eight, are currently ranked in the top four for their age group nationally and have high hopes of following a prestigious group of sailors that have graduated from the Cadet class.

The Cadet was designed by the late Jack Holt OBE and is a very popular class of dinghy that has offered a way into competitive sailing to youngsters for several decades.

And the Page brothers need look only as far as Britain's recent Olympic medallists for inspiration - Pippa Williams (gold in the Yngling class), Nick Rogers and Jo Glanfield (silver in the Men's 470 class) having all started their sailing careers in the Cadet class.

The Ipswich School pupils - who were first pick for the National Cadet Squad earlier this year - look set to qualify for the Cadet World Championships in Argentina next year after an impressive season so far.

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Having finished eighth at an international event in Belgium, John and Alex won the UK National Under-15 Championships at the start of last month.

They have since followed up that win with another victory at the RYA's East Zone Championships were they beat off competition from Corinthian Otters duo Katie Barr and Arthur Brown.

Held on the waters of the Dabchicks and West Mersea Yachting Club, around 150 of the east region's Olympic sailing hopefuls competed in various classes throughout the day.

Patience was the key for the weekend as light winds restricted the dinghy sailors to just two races on Saturday and one more for the Toppers and Cadets on Sunday, although the windsurfers enjoyed a more fruitful weekend getting seven races in altogether.

It was the windsurfers who really shone at Dabchicks with three sailors claiming an awesome seven straight wins.

Olympic Laser gold medallist Paul Goodison was the guest of honour and signed autographs and passed on tips to the young sailors on the water.

The RYA East Zone Championships were one of eight RYA Zone and Home Country Championships taking place across the UK on 27-28 September, with more than 1,000 youngsters competing in eight RYA-supported junior classes throughout the country.

The annual RYA Zone and Home Country Championships are considered a key event for young sailors wishing to be selected for the RYA Zone and Home Country squads, which are the first step on the pathway to Olympic Classes sailing.

For further details visit www.ryaracingevents.org.uk.

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