World sailing

Malton School boy represents GB at the World Sailing Championships

A teenager from North Yorkshire has been selected to represent Britain at a world sailing competition.

Oliver Rayner, from Slingsby in Ryedale, is about to travel to the Netherlands where he will compete in the World Youth Sailing Championships.

The 17-year-old is part of the Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club and will join teammate Alice Davis, from the Draycote Water Sailing Club in Rugby, in the mixed sailing event.

Oliver and Alice sailed against each other when they were younger but have been sailing as a duo since 2020.

They will join 16 other talented youngsters, all aged 18 or under, at the event to represent the British Youth Sailing Team.

The sailors were selected after their performance at the recent Royal Yachting Association National Youth Championships, where Oliver and Alice won gold.

Former Youth Worlds participants include the world’s most decorated Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie and Beijing 2008 gold medalist Pippa Wilson.

The team will be coached and supported by Olympian Kate Macgregor, current iQFOiL British Women’s Coach Sam Ross and British Youth Sailing Team Coach James Hadden.

Oliver Rayner and Alice Davis will compete in the World Youth Sailing Championships Photo: Jon Cawthorne

Oliver said: “I’m a little apprehensive, it’s the biggest competition I’ve done.

“At the last international event I participated in (Palamos Christmas Regatta), we were first after the first day, which was a huge surprise and a boost of confidence for us.

“Even though we finished 24th, in the end we learned a lot from that.”

Oliver, a sixth form pupil at Malton School, is now well into his training.

He has trained every weekend with the British Youth Squad and stays in peak physical condition throughout the week through running and circuit training.

Alongside training, Oliver and his team competed in national level events where they were ranked number one in the UK, having consistently finished in the top three.

He said his typical weekend starts with a six-hour drive from school to the National Sailing Academy in Weymouth.

The training site changes frequently to ensure athletes are well balanced in a range of conditions.

During training, Oliver spends 3-5 hours on the water, then looks back and reviews his performance. He is also responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of his boat.

Oliver said: “Training is going really well and now we see the hard work that we’ve shown in our results.”

The World Youth Sailing Championships are celebrating their 51st anniversary and will take place July 8-15 in The Hague, Netherlands.