Two Windermere School pupils have enjoyed a significant sailing victory at the 30th RYA Eric Twiname Championships held recently at Rutland Water.
The Eric Twiname Trust is the lead sponsor for this premier national RYA event, which is widely recognized as one of the largest sailing events in the calendar for regional teams in Optimists, Toppers, RS Fevas and four classes of Bic Techno Windsurfers.
Sailors are selected to represent their zone or home county by their coaches following a winter of training, and are considered to be some of the best up and coming racers in the country. The event attracts squads from across the UK, and boasts some high-profile alumni, including the British Sailing Team’s Alain Sign, who recently has been selected for the Rio Olympics in the 49er class. He raced his topper at the championships over fifteen years ago
This year, Windermere School pupils Pierce Harris (Year 9) and Alfie Cogger (Year 8) secured victory in the RS Feva Class, beating off strong competition from a field of thirty crews and further underlining the school’s status as a RYA Champion Club. The school became a RYA Champion Club in 2014 (the first school in the UK to achieve this status) in recognition of the work it was doing to help its pupils not only take up sailing, but also to develop them into competitive racers.
This is the second major sailing victory for the school, the first having come last year when pupil Joe Baker became a National Sailing Champion in the Laser Inland National Championships.
“We did pretty well today”, said Alfie. “We were leading the competition by one point at the end of the first day, although each of the top three boats had won one race, so we knew anything was possible at the start of day two. But we worked hard together and managed to win, which was a brilliant feeling.”
Added Pierce, “The wind was pretty shifty all round, but in the last race it shifted right. We managed to get the kite up on the beat which was interesting. We were waiting on the layline, then it shifted hard and we popped our kite and went.”
Headmaster of Windermere School, Ian Lavender, was full of praise; “Congratulations to Alfie and Pierce for their success in the very prestigious RYA Eric Twiname invitational event. To finish first in a field of thirty boats from across the UK is a fantastic achievement and one of which we are all very proud.”
Photo: Paul Wyeth/RYA
The first time my daughter and I visited the school she said to me “that is a happy school no question.” The scholastic achievements of the school are evident and an easy measure for a school to demonstrate. What is hard to quantify is the holistic development of a pupil at which, in my experience, Windermere School excels.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.