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Bermuda sailors win national championships in Britain

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Bermuda's Millie Lewis, second left, Nicole Stovell, far right, and Sophia Dias, second right, were part of a Royal Hospital School team who were crowned under-19 national champions in Britain racing in the Firefly dinghy. Also pictured are Audrey Foley, Grace Coleman Reaston-Brown and Georgie Stammers (Photograph courtesy of Royal Hospital School)

Bermuda sailors Nicole Stovell, Sophia Dias and Millie Lewis started the new year with a bang after winning the Under-19 Women’s Team Racing National Championship.

The Royal Hospital School team, led by captain Stovell, dominated the two -day regatta as they went undefeated in 16 races on the way to the title and the delighted skipper was keen to Stovell expressed her gratitude.

“On behalf of my team, I would like to thank the school for giving us this opportunity to represent RHS and Mr Sibson for organising our participation and supporting us throughout the event," said the Year 13 student on YachtsandYachting.com.

The Ipswich-based school got their campaign off to a solid start in challenging 20 to 30-knot breezes after brushing aside Warwick Mermaids, a team from the University of Warwick, University of Manchester, the University of East Anglia and the University of Bath during the round-robin stage.

Their title bid then gained traction on the second day after they won all five races in the silver league to secure their spot alongside Rutland Hydra in the best-of-three final series.

With glory now well within their sights, Stovell and her team-mates maintained composure to win with a race to spare in the Firefly dinghy 3 versus 3 competition.

Ed Sibson, director of sailing at RHS, was delighted to see the team gain rich reward for the hard work they put into training.

Nicole Stovell, back row centre, with the trophy from the Under-19 Women's Team Racing National Championships. Compatriots Sophia Dias is at bottom right and Millie Lewis bottom middle

“We are delighted with the fantastic achievement of our women's team,” He said. “Their attitude to training all year has been exceptional, you can really see their drive and determination to succeed.

“This result represents a huge success and I'm sure it will only motivate the team to train even harder and be more focused in the coming months.

"The team are a huge inspiration to our younger female sailors and I hope many of them will follow in the footsteps of this team and compete at this level in the future."

The title is the latest success for Stovell in Britain after she topped the ILCA 6 female fleet at last summer’s Royal Yachting Association Youth National Championships in Wales.

The promising sailor also impressed last summer when representing Bermuda at the Youth Sailing World Championships in The Hague, Netherlands, where she finished 23rd among a fleet of 56 in female dinghy class.

Dias and Lewis also have previous experience representing the island at overseas regattas, including the Optimist South and North American Championships.

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Published January 27, 2023 at 7:51 am (Updated January 27, 2023 at 7:51 am)

Bermuda sailors win national championships in Britain

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