MALVERN’S The Chase School landed the top prize at the annual Worcestershire Schools’ Sailing and Canoeing Association (WSSCA) OnBoard Regatta.

Their pupils secured the best team trophy for a record eighth time in 20 years at Upton Warren.

WSSCA graduate and Great Britain sailing star Alison Young from Bewdley heads to Rio for her second Olympics in the laser radial one-person class this year.

Thirty pupils from 11 schools across the county hope to follow in her trail, competing for 17 sailing and paddling cups.

Bowbrook House’s Ed Rose claimed a nail-biting victory in the Laser Shield as he tied on points with second-placed Nathan Wilmott-Miller from Droitwich High at the end of the last race.

A protest hearing determined the outcome and Rose also won the long-distance kayak contest.

Catherine Horsington from Northwick Manor Primary, Worcester, took the junior Topper Trophy as well as the Margaret Alton Award for top girl.

The Chase’s Isha Loudon secured the senior Topper Shield.

Archie Coates from Droitwich’s Westacre Middle claimed the Pico Shield and The Chase’s Alice Russell bagged the Feva Trophy.

Amber Scott from The Chase won the most improved WSSCA sailor over the last two years and Max Arnold, of Droitwich’s Witton Middle, was recognised for his enthusiasm.

The Bell Boat Trophy went to Droitwich High, while The Chase’s Ella Spain sealed a paddling double in the Junior Slalom Shield and junior long distance.

Spain’s schoolmate Joe Xia won the Slalom Shield. Chris Bell, who has just retired from The Chase, received the J Brooke Trophy for a volunteer who has contributed to WSSCA.

Bell has taken youngsters sailing every week for the last 13 years and still helps at weekends.

Many of The Chase’s winning sailors were there because he had got them into sailing.

WSSCA chairman Vivien Brookes said: “All fleets sailed six races in a gusty force four with a much calmer force two to three the next day.

“We were fortunate to also have the RYA coach Curtis Mearns, who helped experienced and less experienced sailors with their starts of races and tactics during the race as well as providing a talk on pathways available to our sailors outside WSSCA activities.

“With Alison heading off to Rio this summer, the regatta proved a timely reminder of exactly what is possible from growing up pond sailing in Worcestershire and I know everyone associated with WSSCA wishes her all the best at next month’s Games.”

Young, the 2016 laser radial world champion, competed at WSSCA regattas from 2000 to 2005 and represented Worcestershire at National School Sailing Association (NSSA) events.

Current WSSCA sailors are preparing to represent their county at the NSSA National Youth Regatta in Great Yarmouth later this month.

Other schools at Upton Warren were Abberley Hall, Aston Fields Middle from Bromsgrove, Hanley Castle High and South Bromsgrove High.

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