Strong showing for young Ely sailors at county event

From left: Kirk Stamford, Jack Knight, Laura and Matthew Campbell.

From left: Kirk Stamford, Jack Knight, Laura and Matthew Campbell. - Credit: Archant

Sailing Ely Sailing Club’s young competitors put in an impressive showing at the first round of the Cambs Youth League.

Competing against the best young sailors from across the county, Ely’s five-strong team were fighting for the top positions throughout a busy first event of the summer season,

Two new sailors, Matthew and Laura Campbell, joined the Ely team for the first time and took part in toppers.

Kirk Stamford was also competing in a topper, and Jack Knight was crewed by Mollie Lee in his national 12.

The first race saw Knight and Lee sail a competitive race with the laser fleet, however, on handicap, they were beaten by three, placing them fourth.

Stamford tussled with Huntingdon sailor William Russell but, in the end, he was victorious over his competition, coming home in sixth.

Laura Campbell finished in 27th place after soldiering on having hit her head. Similarly, Matthew Campbell persevered after finding himself stuck by the bank.

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The next race saw Stamford miss out due to a technical issue with his boat. The Campbells, now with reefed sails, sailed with much more control and improved dramatically with Laura coming 21st and Matthew 10th.

Knight and Lee came sixth after a tense battle with the laser boats, which was eventually decided on handicap.

The final race saw Knight and Lee climb back up the leader board with a fifth place finish, beating William Russell by a large margin on handicap. Stamford’s topper was back after being repaired and he sailed a fast race, frequently switching positions with Russell before leaving him behind when William had to take two penalty turns.

Kirk went on to finish in sixth.

Laura Campbell was consistent with her last race and finished in 21st following a fast and impressive race. Her brother Matthew Campbell finished in 10th place.

Knight and Lee finished in fifth place overall counting a fouth and fifth, while Stamford came first in the under 15 category and finished sixth overall. Matthew Campbell came 11th overall with two 10ths and Laura Campbell finished 23rd.

A spokesman for the club said: “Well done to all who took part. A special well done goes to Matthew who was awarded the Endeavour Trophy for his inspiring determination to continue despite things going wrong.”