RHS pupils go sailing on to success

Two Royal Hospital School students went sailing on to best in class at the Royal Yachting Association Youth National Championships, while a third finished runner-up

The Royal Hospital School (RHS) has been buoyed by a number of pupils sailing on to success at the Royal Yachting Association Youth National Championships.

Sebastian Kempe, the current world youth sailing champion, claimed another title by winning the ILCA6 class, closely followed by a fellow member of year 12 at the Suffolk independent school, Thommie Grit. The final step on the podium was claimed by Will Pank, who left RHS last year.

The school was also triumphant in the ILCA 6 female class, with Nicole Stovell the first to cross the finishing line.

“You have to take every race as it comes,” said Sebastian, who was placed second after the opening event. “That race didn’t really go the way I had planned it. After that I won five races in a row, really putting the sail to the wind, and securing as many race wins as I could.

“It doesn’t matter where you were in the last race, what matters is that you come back and perform at your best and hit that reset button.”

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Like Sebastian, Nicole will be representing Bermuda at the Youth Sailing World Championships in the Netherlands this summer.

“My competitors were very focused, so at times it was really challenging,” she said of her most recent victory.  “It was my consistency of being in the top five that secured me the win.

“It also helped me relax in the last couple of races when I knew I had a strong lead; I tried my best, had fun and kept the gap I needed to place first.”

The winning pair will not be the only RHS-based competitors at the world championships – Thommie will be there, too, representing Great Britain.

“It was great to have both Seb and Will Plank there racing with me,” he reflected. “We’ve known each other for a while and there were multiple races where we took first, second and third positions.

“It’s great to train with all these other top sailors throughout the year at RHS; we really push each other up and it really shows at these events.”

Pic (l-r): Nicole Stovell, Sebastian Kempe, and Thommie Grit

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