County’s sailing quartet take to the waves in Olympic boats

Ben Haynes, Josh Haynes, Harrison Coppinger and Lewis Coppinger. Photo: Neil Coppinger.
Ben Haynes, Josh Haynes, Harrison Coppinger and Lewis Coppinger. Photo: Neil Coppinger.

Four members of Derbyshire Youth Sailing enjoyed an unforgettable experience at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy last weekend.

The team consisted of 17-year-old helmsman Lewis Coppinger together with a three-strong crew of his brother Harrison Coppinger, 15, and Ben Haynes, 17, and his brother Josh Haynes, 14.

They set out to do battle in the heats for a place in the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Winter Match Racing Series finals, racing in the Elliot 6m keel boats that had been used in the 2012 Olympics.

Lewis said: “We worked really well as a team together and learned a lot from the experience. However, despite the results not going our way, we were getting better all the time.

“The Elliott 6m boats are fantastic to sail and it was such a privilege to be racing them. We’re definitely going to give it another try if the opportunity is there.”

The weekend of racing also provided tuition and coaching.

And members also had the opportunity to board the umpire or committee boats to understand how the officials make their decisions and manage the racing.

Ben added: “If we get the rules knowledge that the umpires have, I am sure we can put it to good effect in the racing and come out with better results.”