Frensham Pond Sailing Club (FPSC) cadet sailors Sam Nee and Audrey Guimali have been crowned 2023 cadet national champions.
FPSC’s cadets travelled to Abersoch, Wales, for the national championships.
The event comprised 12 races sailed over four days. The winds were shifty and the tides were tricky – so strategy was key.
Nee said: “The shifty conditions were difficult, so I had to resist the urge to bang corners and instead go up the middle. The tide pushing us over at the start was hard to negotiate but I managed to get a couple of good starts so I was happy. The current at the end of the week also made it difficult to call lay lines.”
Nee has been sailing a cadet for four years at FPSC – two as a crew and the past two as a helm. She has been paired up with Guimali – her crew – for the past two years.
“Cadets are fantastic because while you are a crew you learn from your helm who is generally older than you,” said Nee.
“I like sailing a two-person boat as I like having someone to talk to and share my sweets with!
“The cadet class is a family class and I have a lot of friends on and off the water.”
Nee has won the nationals at the age of 14.
“Looking at the past winners, I am proud to be able to have my name on the trophy as well and I am excited to be able to participate in the Endeavour Trophy,” said Nee.
Held on the tidal waters of the rivers Crouch and Roach at the end of every year, the Endeavour Trophy is an invitation only three-day event – with the guest-list hand-picked from national champions of selected recognised fleets.
Nee has two more years in the cadet class. Her crew Guimali is moving to a new club on the coast, so Nee will team up with a new crew – which means another challenging year with hard work ahead to make sure the new team is ready for the world championships in Plymouth next summer.
“Winning the nationals means a lot to me and it makes me very happy as it was my last event with Audrey – so becoming national champions was a great way to end our two-year journey together,” said Nee.