St Albans sailor ready to take on the world
- Credit: Marc Turner
ST ALBANS sailor Annabel Cattermole is about to embark on the biggest week of her sailing career as she jets off to Limassol, Cyprus to represent Team GBR at the pinnacle event of the youth sailing calendar - the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships.
The event, which takes place between July 13-20 is the 43rd edition of the championship, and is seen by many as the ‘Youth Olympics’ for sailing.
The championships has, over the years, identified talented sailors such as multiple Olympic gold medallists Ben Ainslie, Sarah Ayton and Iain Percy.
Cattermole, 17, who is a member of Welwyn Garden City Sailing Club, will be amongst the 12-strong RYA Volvo Team GBR squad looking to make their mark at the annual regatta when racing gets underway on Monday, July 15.
“It’s a great honour to be selected,” said Catermole.
“It was an incredible feeling to know we’d qualified, and such a relief that years of hard work had paid off. We’ve been working towards this goal for two and a half years and to actually achieve it is amazing.”
She added: “To represent Great Britain will be a huge honour as I’ll be following in the footsteps of past Olympians.”
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The Beaumont School student earned selection for the female double-handed 420 dinghy berth in Cyprus after winning the RYA Youth National Championship title in Largs, Scotland in April with her sailing partner Bryony Bennett Lloyd from Norwich.
“Going into the RYA Youth National Championships I was very nervous and didn’t really know what to expect in terms of competition.
“We sailed a consistent regatta with no real big discards, so going into the last day we knew we’d qualified which that took the pressure off the last race,” explained Catermole.
The aspiring young Olympian will be competing at the world’s premier event for youth sailors, which will welcome over 360 of the world’s top Olympic hopefuls across 250 boats from 61 nations, with the 420 sailor upping her training regime in preparation for the main event.
“We have be training hard in the build-up to the event, with a big focus on our starting routines – at the RYA Youth Nationals our starting wasn’t as good as what it could have been so it’s something we needed to improve in time for the Youth Worlds.”
Catermole has competed in many events over the years whilst being involved in the RYA Youth Racing programme including European and International regattas; however she admitted the ISAF Youth Worlds is like no other event.
“This event will be hugely different to other events, one of the main differences being that we won’t be competing in our own boat.
“This means getting familiar with different setups and equipment. It’s also much more of a team event unlike some of the events I’ve competed at in the past which I’m really looking forward to.
“The Opening and Closing ceremonies are also meant to be pretty special so I’m looking forward those.”
There will be 12 races each for the eight classes competing in Cyprus with the medals due to be decided in the final race on Friday 19 July. All the British sailors are aged between 15 and 18.
RYA Volvo Team GBR are supported by Volvo Car UK and Henri Lloyd, who are the official kit supplier for the GBR team.
For further information on the 2013 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships visit www.isafyouthworlds.com