Jamie Calder charts a course for Olympics after RYA victory

Jamie Calder won the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Youth National Sailing Championships in Weymouth
Jamie Calder won the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Youth National Sailing Championships in Weymouth
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Edinburgh’s Jamie Calder today revealed he is charting a course for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after by winning the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Youth National Sailing Championships in Weymouth.

He triumphed in the competition – the biggest of its kind in Britain – at under-19 level despite being just 15.

After four days of intense competition sailing within the Laser Radial class, The Royal Forth Yacht Club sailor took the lead at the halfway stage and emerged from a hugely competitive field of 105 sailors to bring home the title. He was also the youngest sailor in this class ever to do so.

As a reward for his endeavours on the south coast, Calder has been selected by Team GB to compete at the ISAF Youth World Championships in Tavira, Portugal in July. This event is often viewed as the ‘Youth Olympics’ and Calder is keen to showcase his skills.

He said: “This will be the largest competition I’ve ever been to. I’ve been to other world championships before but this particular one involves the best sailors from each country. There will be a lot of people there with huge amounts of experience. Because I am so young I’d like to go over there and gather as much experience as possible so my goal is to get in either the top ten or 20.

“Getting to the Olympics is my biggest goal for the future and it’s something I am really determined to achieve. It makes me really happy that some Olympians who have won their gold medals have come down the same path as me by winning these events. 2020 is my aim as I think Brazil in 2016 would be too soon for me.”

Another highlight in Weymouth for the Balerno High School pupil was meeting Princess Anne, who is patron of the RYA. “It was a great honour to meet Princess Anne. She was asking me questions about where I sail in Scotland. It was really enjoyable and it’s not someone you get to meet every day.

“It’s the biggest championship you can win in Britain,” the level-headed teenager said. “It was my biggest goal of the year but I knew it was going to be really hard. I was aiming to get top five but I am so over the moon I managed to achieve first.

“The conditions were quite mixed with light, medium and heavy winds but it was beautiful weather all week and really sunny. I stuck to my own race and didn’t concentrate on anyone else because it can affect your own performance. It’s the biggest win in my career so far.”