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Summer of Sailing Success for Jess Nelson

Jess Nelson at Lake Garda

Jess Nelson, a Year 13 student at the Stamford Endowed Schools, has enjoyed a summer of sailing success, alongside her partner Hannah Roberts Straw. Upon achieving the Welsh Ladies Youth 29er Champions title in June, the pair went on to achieve third place in both the Ladies Trophy and Eurocup in August, at the National 29er Championship. Rounding off an outstanding summer, the pair accomplished third British Ladies boat in their final tournament racing together, in the beautiful Lake Garda, Italy, at the 29er European Championships.

The Welsh Youth Championships formed Jess and Hannah’s start to the summer, across the weekend of 22nd and 23rd June. The Championships offered a two-day sailing event in North Wales, designed to test young sailors’ improvements following coaching across the winter and spring.  With race results of 3,1,2 on Saturday, placing the pair in the lead overnight, and 5,3,3 on Sunday following challenging race conditions, the team emerged victorious, becoming the Welsh Ladies Youth 29er Champions, and second in the overall Welsh Youth Championships.

The week following 7th August 2019 saw the teams second event of the season, at the National 29er Championships, a two-person high performance sailing skiff. After a successful first day, the pair achieved tenth out of the 55 competing boats. Despite large sea swells and choppy conditions, the students achieved a rewarding third place overall in both the Ladies Trophy and Eurocup.

As a fitting triumph to end their time sailing together, 28th August brought the 29er European Championships in Italy. The British Sailors came home with the Nations Cup, with Jess and Hannah contributing through their second-place position in their final race together. Hannah has now moved to Exeter University to pursue her academic studies, and Jess is working alongside a new partner. 

Jess continues her training in Weymouth with her new partner, whilst studying for her A Levels at SHS. Having been a member of the GB Youth Sailing Squad for the past two years, she is working to hone her racing skills to exceed on the international stage, with the intention of successfully competing at World and European Championships, following a pathway to Team GB.  The new pairing are soon to try out the Olympic boat, the 49erFX, with the GB Sailing Team Coach, facilitated by the GB Youth Squad.