“Welsh Sailing is delighted to be part of the Gemau Cymru event in 2012 and to be working with the Urdd. Sailors from across Wales will travel to the event and we are expecting around 120 young sailors aged between 7 – 18 to compete in two days of sailing on the waters of Cardiff Bay.We hope the event will showcase our exciting sport to a new audience and inspire them to have a go a few days before the start of the Olympic Games”
Ambassador: Ellie Meopham
1. Name, Age, School and club
Ellie Meopham, 18, Ysgol Bro Gwaun, Fishguard Bay Yacht Club
2. When and why did you start your sport?
I started sailing because my family are keen sailors and that inspired me to learn. I started when I was 10, and I haven’t looked back since, except for in the middle of winter when it’s snowing.
3. Greatest achievement to date
This year I went up to sunny Largs in Scotland to compete in the British Youth National Championships. I came away National Youth Champion, and the first ever female Youth National Champion. I was selected as the female Radial sailor to represent Britain at the ISAF Youth World Championships in Cyprus this summer, this is a big honour not only am I going out there to represent Britain, but to represent WALES!
4. Your aspiration
Sailing is a really special part of my life. And I want to keep it like that, I don't know which way it will take me, weather I will continue to race, or not, but what's important to me is that I will always be able to get away on a boat, for some time on my own or with friends, for a relaxed cruise, or an adrenaline packed race.
5. Who has been your greatest influence?
My Family have always been right behind me, without them I would never ever be where I am now. However, the people who I grew up sailing with will always be my biggest influences. I am still sailing now with the people I sailed with 8 years ago. We've learnt a lot from one another not just technically but in terms of the type of attitude you have to take towards sailing. One of the best coaching lines ever - 'Just go out there, smile, and have fun'.
6. Any pre competition rituals?
Make sure I have my sail attached to the top of the mast, and a bung in my boat. So long as my boat is ready to race I see no reason why I can't sail my best, so I guess my ritual is rigging my boat.
7. Why is an event like Gemau Cymru important?
It's a chance to celebrate the whole sporting culture. From the lifelong friends you make, to the buzz you get when you push yourself and succeed. Also for the younger competitors, it's a taste of the atmosphere at a big international event, when hundreds of people come together, united by a passion for sport.
It's a weekend event but sailors are welcome to attend one of the two days.
All abilities welcome. Open event to all sailors.
Event: Welsh Yachting Association Welsh Schools and Clubs Sailing Championship
- Age category: 7 – 18 years old
- Registration will be via the Welsh Sailing website, due to go live in May.
Venue: Cardiff Bay Yacht Club