A schoolboy from Cowes has been crowned national champion after winning the 29er sailing championships.
Oliver Evans, 16, sailed to victory with his teammate Fin Armstrong, despite it being the first time the pair had ever sailed together.
The changeable weather at the national championships venue in Pwllheli in Wales meant the pair faced some challenging sailing conditions with racing suspended on 2 of the days, both due to no wind and too much wind.
Commenting on the race, Oliver said:
“Although it was the first time Fin and I had ever sailed together, we worked well as a team and secured some outstanding results meaning we went into the final day of racing with a 20 point lead. We were obviously thrilled to win the title as neither of us were expecting it, and it puts us in a good position as we look ahead to the European Championships next week in Lake Garda.”
Oliver, who attends Cowes Enterprise College, will be back sailing with his normal crew Will Jarman at the Europeans, but hopes his recent success at the Nationals will give the pair a boost as they continue with their racing season.
Oliver is a member of Gurnard Sailing Club and helps to coach some of the older cadets, sharing his racing expertise. He is also sponsored by Wightlink which supports Oliver with discounted ferry travel through the Isle of Wight Council Talented Athlete Scheme.
Wightlink chief executive Keith Greenfield says:
“I would like to pass on my congratulations to Oliver and Fin, it is an incredible achievement to win the national championships and is testament to their skill and dedication to the sport.”
Fin Armstrong is based in Torquay.