Top teenage sailor from Ilkley to pick up award

Ilkley Gazette: Hector Simpson on the water Hector Simpson on the water

A teenage sailor from Ilkley will be heading to London this weekend to collect his RYA Yorkshire and Humber Young Sailor of the Year award.

Hector Simpson, 17, of Grove Road, was picked for the award by a panel of judges and will represent the region during the award ceremony at the prestigious Tullett Prebon London International Boat Show on Saturday.

A talented Laser sailor, Hector attends Bradford Grammar School and is a keen member of Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club, which sails at Grimwith reservoir in North Yorkshire, on the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

As his career progresses, Hector is pulled further away from the Yorkshire Dales and in 2012 his successes took him to the RYA Volvo Youth National Championship at Pwllheli, Wales, where he was crowned Laser Standard Youth National Champion, a title that he will defend in Largs, Scotland, in April 2013.

He said: “I am very proud and feel honoured to have won the RYA Yorkshire and Humber Young Sailor Award. I owe my success to lots of people who have helped and coached me over the past few years.

“I began sailing about ten years ago and when I was 11 I applied for the RYA Volvo Zone Squad.

“After that, under the guidance of coaches Martin Boatman and Dave Hivey, I really caught the racing bug.”

Hector also has hopes of representing the country in the summer as his training continues to progress.

He said: “I’m training with the RYA Volvo Laser Standard National Youth Squad over the winter.” He added: “My competition schedule for 2013 depends on how well this training goes but I’m hoping to be part of the GBR squad for some international competitions next summer.”

Visit rya.org.uk/go/youngsailor for more information.

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