Southampton Solent University’s yachting team is tonight celebrating winning the 2010 Student Yachting World Cup for England.
They successfully took the world title after an exciting and challenging week of racing at La Rochelle in France. By winning today’s final race, Southampton Solent University will be crowned World Champions for the second time in six years, having taken the title in 2004.
Fourteen National Champion eight-crew teams ? including 2009 winners from Italy – represented their respective countries and battled their way through a gruelling five-day race schedule that included a marathon all-day race, a night race and various short races.
Solent’s National Championship winning team is skippered by Guy Jackson and crewed by Ben Pym, Peter Cowell, James Ellis, Heather Slater, James Moore, Samuel Peters and Kate Macgregor who has already picked up a World Championship medal at this year’s ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship.
Their coach, Niall Myant, knows just how they feel having been a member of Solent’s world winning team of 2004.
He said: “Everyone is absolutely thrilled! I’m immensely proud of the team. We were well prepared for the championship but it wasn’t until half-way through that we thought we could win. We were confident going into the last race but it was a relief to finish miles ahead of our closest rival, Switzerland, and confirm victory.”
Solent Skipper Guy Jackson, who received a celebratory dunking from the crew, said “I am extremely proud to have skippered this crew. We’ve worked so hard with the Solent sport staff to condition and prepare ourselves and it has really paid off. We will definitely be celebrating this evening!”
Solent University has established a considerable reputation in this sporting sector, and boasts a glittering alumni of sailing stars including Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison and 2007 Raymarine/YJA Young Sailor of the Year Katie Miller.
Southampton Solent University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Van Gore says, “In the words of poet John Masefield, ‘A wild call and a clear call that cannot be denied’ ? first British Champions, now World Cup winners. Marvellous news for our University.”
The University’s STAND scheme helps elite athletes to compete at the top level whilst still applying themselves to their academic studies.
Matthew Bishop, Southampton Solent’s Sports Development Manager says, “We’ve been blessed this year with not only an individually talented squad, but also one that can work highly effectively as a team. The squad along with National RYA Coach Niall Myant have worked tirelessly on and off the water since the Yachting Nationals in April. We are hugely proud of the team and are looking forward to opening the bubbly on their return tomorrow. ”