PLAIN SAILING: Max Yeowart and Toby Waggett with Dave Shilling of Derwent reservoir
PLAIN SAILING: Max Yeowart and Toby Waggett with Dave Shilling of Derwent reservoir

TWO young Optimist sailors from Teesdale Sailing and Water Sports Club have had a fantastic start to the summer, bringing home top results.

Both ten-year-old Max Yeowart from Staindrop Primary School and nine-year-old Toby Waggett from Middleton-in-Teesdale Primary School are new to the competitions in sailing.

In 2017 Max attended the F3 Club, a scheme aimed at getting youngsters into sailing, and again in the summer of 2018 he attended the F3 Plus Club – furthering his knowledge and skills.

Max was successful in attaining a brand new boat from the John Merrick Trust after applying following a fantastic win at Ullswater last September.

Toby, who only turned nine on Saturday attended the F3 Club last summer but has a determination that has enabled him to catch up with the other children.

Both boys, along with Finn Goodman, Oliver Waggett and Reuben Gillhespy decided to enter the NE Youth Travellers Series. Finn travelled to several of these with his Topper boat and has finished with second place for the North East Section – a fantastic achievement. Well done Finn!

Max and Toby decided to opt out of some of the NEYTS and attend more Optimist type events to allow them to attain a more unique and channeled skill. They entered the two day IOCA North East Area Championship Regatta Fleet at Derwent Reservoir on the last weekend of June. A daunting experience for Toby as this was his first IOCA experience.

Both boys took it in their stride and finished with Max picking up first place and Toby in third. They received suitable prizes and managed a smile-filled photo with Dave Shilling, of Derwent Reservoir.

The following Saturday saw Max and Toby travel to Ripon for a combined event – NEYTS and Ripon Sailing Club Open. The wind was very light and changeable but both boys pushed at this new venue to ensure they had good races and finished in strong positions. Toby got the perfect ninth birthday treat - first place in Regatta Fleet plus first Under 10s and Max behind him with second place in Regatta Fleet. Both boys were brilliant and have a fantastic attitude towards sailing and respect for the boats.

Moving forward both boys intend to attend further IOCA and Open events around the North East as summer progresses into Autumn.

We cannot forget eight-year-old Rory Yeowart who attends all of the sessions and events – sometimes sails, sometimes crews, Junior Bosun title fits the bill, but always with a smile and a strong member of the team!

Teesdale Sailing and Water Sports Club (TDSWC) have continued to support all the boys and several more new junior starters who are becoming more competent sailors. They regularly attend both practice and fun sessions to improve their skills and learn from others. The relationship these boys in particular have together is a pleasure to see – having a huge amount of fun whilst learning together and trusting each other in the water. They are embracing this opportunity with both hands and showing us all what incredible skills and talent they have.

TDSWC definitely have a determined and talented Junior Squad.