Seaford: Sailing star wins sports personality award

Alex Mills-Barton is pictured in the middle, flanked by representatives from the University of Chichester

Alex Mills-Barton is pictured in the middle, flanked by representatives from the University of Chichester

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A SPORTING star of Seaford celebrated success after receiving an award for his sailing achievements this year.

Alex Mills-Barton was crowned University of Chichester Young Sports Personality of the Year at the Sussex Sports Awards.

The ceremony was held at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton and saw Alex rewarded for his efforts at the sport both as an individual and as part of a team.

With the 2012 London Olympic Games fast approaching, the ninth Sussex Sports Awards have been highly anticipated, aiming to recognise the achievements of individuals and clubs that have made contributions to Sussex sport over the last year. In between the gala three-course dinner and entertainment, 15 awards were handed out.

After his elevation into the Team GBR Olympic Development Squad in September 2010, January saw Alex pick up the coveted Marlow Ropes Award which is given to the squad’s top rookie. He finished the UK Spring Senior World & European qualification events with a win in Pwllheli, the first youth sailor to do so for 18 years.

In April he took Gold at the UK National Youth Championships with a day to spare, posting five race wins over the week-long 11 race event. April also saw Alex win his first race in an ISAF Sailing World Cup event in Hyeres, France, to take him to 76th in the ISAF World ranking list.

Among other sporting achievements Alex has also been chosen to represent Great Britain as part of a four-man team at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Perth, Australia in December.

Sadie Mason, Active Sussex chief executive, said, “With London 2012 just around the corner, the 2011 Sussex Sports Awards were expected to be our biggest event so far. It didn’t disappoint.

“There is a real buzz across the UK and you could feel that in the room last night. There is just so much sporting potential in our county and much to celebrate. I hope that the winners, and of course all of those shortlisted, use this as a platform to push-on and strike gold in less than a year’s time.”

The evening also raised funds for worthy local causes through a raffle with prizes including a luxury holiday from Virgin Holidays.