UK's Royal Yachting Association (RYA)'s move to offer a prize to under-16-ear-olds as a way of encouraging young yacht designers is something that other countries could well copy. This week, during the RYA's annual dinghy show, a ten-year-old girl has triumphed as the winner over 70 competitors.
Ten year old Blythe Berry of Emsworth, a large village on the Hampshire coast, is now the proud owner of a new RS Tera dinghy after being named winner of a nationwide sail design competition at the RYA Dinghy Show 2013.
Blythe travelled to London with her mum, dad and little brother Raulf after finding out her design had been shortlisted as one of six finalists in the RS Design a Sail competition. There were gasps of delight all round after her design, based on a constellation of stars was named as the judges’ favourite from amongst some 70 entries.
Blythe will now be able to enjoy sailing her new RS Tera, a modern, tough and affordable dinghy perfect for learning, training and racing.
A stunned Blythe said 'I was really happy when they called out my name and said that I am the winner. I can’t wait to go sailing in my new boat'.
She was presented with her dinghy by Skandia Team GBR sailor Nick Thompson.
The competition to design a sail for an RS Tera dinghy was open to youngsters under 16 and among the finalists were eight year olds Ollie Brown (Locksheath) and Oliver Kennis-Ozanne (Fareham), Henry Jameson (11) and Bethan Day (14) both from Hayling island and Laura Ashworth (14 , Rossendale, Lancs).
Jon Partridge, RS said 'RS are delighted to be a part of the RYA Dinghy Show and even more delighted to be involved in developing youth and junior sailing across the UK. We certainly hope Blythe enjoys sailing her new dinghy'.