Nicola sets her sights on youth sailing title

Nicola Boniface
Nicola Boniface

A POLEGATE teenager will represent Great Britain in the Youth Sailing World Championship this year.

Seventeen-year-old Nicola Boniface won her place among the 12 sailors after five days of sail racing at the Youth Nationals earlier this month.

The Croatian Sailing Federation will host the 41st event at the Uskok Sailing Club in Zadar from July 7-16.

The event is dubbed the pinnacle event of the youth sailing calendar, seen by many as the ‘Youth Olympics’ for sailing, and has over the years identified talented sailors such as Olympic gold medallists Ben Ainslie and Sarah Ayton.

The decision on who to send to compete in the SL 16 class was made somewhat easier by the fantastic performance of Nicola and her partner in the Spitfire class.

Nine race wins and four second place finishes gave their new partnership a tiny points score of 23 to win the fleet by a considerable margin.

As well as defending last year’s crown, this will be Nicola’s third consecutive ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships which is an incredible achievement for the young aspiring Olympian.

Nicola said, “We didn’t have a great start to the week but once we got going we started picking up some good results which meant our last race was rather relaxed.

“Our training leading up to event is going to be full on and I’m sure we will be extremely focused.

“It’s very exciting to be going back to the ISAF Youth Worlds and hopefully this will be my third time lucky.

“It’s the top youth event and it always feels different as there are more classes there which makes it a lot more enjoyable.”