Young Ely duo shine at national sailing event

ELY Sailing Club duo Nick Copsey and Rory Mackenzie took victory against an excellent field at the National Schools Sailing Association annual regatta in Weymouth last week.

Copsey, in his last year of schools sailing, was in the competitive fast handicap fleet in a National 12 crewed by Rory Mackenzie. The 48-boat fleet included some of the best under 19 sailors in the country

Nick and Rory led after seven of the nine races but a broken main halyard at the start of race eight meant repairs were required on the water, which involved capsizing the boat and swimming to the top of the mast to tie the sail up. With a race to go they were tied with two other boats and a bad last race would leave them in fourth.

Victory in the last race however, meant they had also won overall and were presented with their trophy by Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison.

Out of a total 480 boats sailing, Nick and Rory were also presented the outstanding seamanship award for their boat handling when the main sail came down.

Nick was also one of the six competitors out of more than 600 to receive the presidents award of a week’s sailing on Sceptre, an Americas Cup boat.

Jack Knight also took part, sailing a Laser Radial and finished 20th in a fleet of 82. This was a good achievement for Jack who, at 15-years-old, was one of the youngest in the top 30.