Last weekend, the RYA Cymru Welsh Youth and Junior Championships took place at Plas Heli Welsh National Sailing Academy in Pwllheli and saw two teenagers from Ceredigion sailing into first positions in Wales.

Attracting 113 competitors from across Wales and beyond, with a total of 89 boats making for close racing across the fleets, Bronwen Thomas, aged 16, from Rhydlewis competed in the ILCA 4 class and Steffan Williams, aged 14, from New Quay in the Topper class sailing dingy.

Both pupils at Ysgol Bro Teifi in Llandysul, Steffan said: “It was an amazing event in Plas Heli; on Saturday the wind was forecasted to build all day, and it came in early so we had very challenging conditions. There was a lot of chop with one metre waves but we were able to fit in five races on the Saturday before the storm came in on Sunday, and I was consistent with four firsts and one second.

“I’m so pleased to win and be the Welsh Topper Youth and Junior Champion. I only began competing in Easter so I’m hoping this is the start of my sailing career. I even got a congratulations video message from the two-time Welsh world champion and Olympic gold medallist sailor Hannah Mills OBE, who was competing at the Sail GP event in Italy. I’m a huge fan so it was incredible.

Steffan Williams with his trophy and medal at Plas Heli
Steffan Williams with his trophy and medal at Plas Heli (Submitted)

“I want to say thank you to all the volunteers, race committee and RYA Cymru for the event. I’m now looking forward to the beginning of the ITCA GBR National Topper Racing Series, with the first national competition at Draycote Water Sailing Club in Warwickshire this weekend.”

Bronwen Thomas, also a student at Ysgol Bro Teifi, is well-known on the sailing circuit after coming 6th in the Topper World Championship in Lake Garda in July 2022.

Training at the Pembrokeshire Performance Sailing Academy (PPSA) in Neyland, this year Bronwen has transitioned into the ILCA 4 sailing dingy and is continuing with her success and looking forward to more upcoming events.