The talents of the UK’s most promising young sailors, windsurfers and powerboaters were celebrated on 1 March 2015 as the winners of the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards were revealed at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show.

The awards were presented at London’s magnificent Alexandra Palace by four times Laser World Championship Medallist Nick Thomson in recognition of the outstanding achievement and performance of young people across the range of activities the RYA represents.
Daniel Thompson (14) from Walton on Thames was one of 13 regional winners and took the award for Thames Valley and London region.

Daniel, who was nominated by Queen Mary Sailing Club (QMSC) and selected as a winner by the Thames Valley and London regional committee attained a string of achievements including:


  • Topper 4.2 dinghy World Champion 2014National School Sailing Association (NSSA) Regatta 2014:
  • 1st Under 14 (Topper),
  • 4th Overall (Topper).2013/2014 RYA South East Zone Squad
  • International Topper Class Association UK Topper 4.2 Squad member.
  • 2014/15 RYA Topper National Junior Squad member.

In nominating Daniel QMSC said of him: “At just 13, Daniel had an impressive year sailing his Topper, with some outstanding results at national and international events.However, it is his friendly personality at QMSC which makes him such a good candidate for this award.
“Daniel is keen to help and encourage the newer sailors and is a great role model.  He was a valuable member of the QMSC team at the NSSA regatta in August at which the team came 2nd, and is looking forward to completing his RYA Assistant Instructor course when he is 14 in the new year, so that he can help our Youth Group on a more formal basis.

“He loves sailing and definitely has an eye on his future - he has started to sail a 29er in his spare time, so we are watching his progress with interest.” Mike Barrett from Desborough Sailing Club added: “I was lucky enough to witness Daniel's clean sweep of victories in the Topper 4.2 Worlds at Pwllheli from a mark laying boat - it was exceptional sailing from a boy of his age in tough conditions.

“As well as being a great sailor, Daniel has been a tremendous influence on the younger Topper sailors coming through by being encouraging and helpful, particularly with his tool box!  He has great technical ability, and builds and repairs boats in his shed. He’s a great advert for youth sailing and a first class well rounded youngster”
Daniel, who attends Heathside School in Weybridge, said of his selection: I’m very pleased to be chosen for this award after such an enjoyable sailing season last year.  I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me - my parents and grandparents, my club Queen Mary, and all my squad coaches. I’m keen to make the most of all the opportunities which the RYA provides, and looking forward to the Topper Nationals and Worlds this year!

“I was excited to receive the award from the RYA at the Dinghy Show. Thanks to everyone who made it possible!”
RYA Sport Development Manager Duncan Truswell commented: “At the RYA we believe it’s really important to recognise people on every level and these youngsters are all so passionate about their sport and they all put in the extra effort.  Of course, all this wouldn’t be possible without the support of their parents, guardians, coaches, trainers, club officials and friends. Our congratulations go to all the worthy Regional Youth Champion winners – some of them are undoubtedly the rising stars of the future and I’m sure many may indeed follow in the footsteps of our successful Olympians, world champions and record breakers.”

For more information on the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards visit www.rya.org.uk/go/youthchampion
For more about QMSC visit http://www.queenmary.org.uk

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