RYA Musto Youth Award for aspiring Chipstead sailor
A new generation of inspirational sailors were recognised in the RYA Musto Regional Youth Awards, presented at the RYA Dinghy Show on March 1.
The awards celebrate the achievements of young people in the sport whether it’s on the racecourse, volunteering, instructing, coaching or overcoming adversity. They were presented to seven of the 11 regional winners by RYA Chair, Chris Preston, alongside Olympic champion Hannah Mills and her world championship-winning crew Eilidh McIntyre.
The London and South East region winner was Hugo Valentine (14) who has sailed Topper dinghies at Chipstead Sailing Club for the past 5 years. During that time he has become a very capable and keen club sailor climbing steadily up through the junior/youth ranks to become one of the top juniors at the club.
In 2019 Hugo expanded his sailing knowledge by taking part in a number of away events. He competed at the Island Barn Reservoir Topper Open, coming first out of 76 competitors. In September he took part at the British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships 2019 - London & South East, at Datchet Water Sailing Club where he was placed in the top 10 for all six races. He also won the 2019 Chipstead Sailing Club Saturday Junior Handicap series and the Commodores Cup.
Hugo’s aim in 2020 is to participate in the Topper World Championships in Italy.
His club said of Hugo: “He is a role model for up and coming sailors, encouraging them to join in with racing and passing on his enthusiasm and love for the sport.”
In the photo Hugo receives his award from, left to right, Emma Jackson, Eilidh McIntyre and Hannah Mills.
Hugo is also pictured with Ian Walker, Chipstead SC President
Hugo said of receiving his award: “It feels amazing to receive this, and to have my sailing achievements recognised in this way. I'm so grateful to the RYA for selecting me, and to Chipstead Sailing Club for nominating me. It was incredible to meet the British Sailing Team at the Dinghy Show, and I can't wait to go down to Weymouth in the summer."
Eilidh McIntyre commented: “Congratulation to all the winners. It was a real honour to meet them all today. These young people are doing so much for their communities and the people in their club and they are a true inspiration to us all.”
Emma Jackson, Musto Brand Marketing Manager, added: “Musto have come on board as a partner of the RYA Musto Regional Youth Awards and it’s been fantastic meeting all the inspirational winners today and celebrating their incredible work.
"We are pleased to champion sailing from grassroots all the way through to upper echelons of the sport through our partnerships with the British Youth Sailing and the British Sailing Team; these awards provide the perfect opportunity to do just that.”