MORE than 50 of Scotland's best young sailors descended on the Clyde last weekend for the RYA Scotland Winter Championships 2023. 

Junior and youth entrants across Optimist, Topper, ILCA, Feva, Techno 293, and iQFoil classes gathered for a sought-after opportunity for sailors from all corners of the country.

With a total of 56 sailors taking to water for an icy but successful event, lots of festive cheer made sure spirits were kept up.

Day one concluded with 11 completed races across the dinghy classes on Alpha Course, while the windsurfers made it out into the bay, but not round any complete Bravo Courses.

Racing was tight across the Optimist, Topper, and ILCA Classes, with two, four and five races squeezed in respectively before heading to shore.

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The cold and calm conditions were also felt by the iQFoil windsurfers, who weren’t met with the necessary ten knots to get flying.

The weather on the second day didn’t disappoint, with the sun coming out alongside a much more consistent wind.

The additional breeze did however keep the safety cover busy, whether that was supplying snacks, or to assisting a few capsize recoveries.

Wind was, however, welcomed by the iQFoils storming around Bravo Course, and with the Fevas also getting a first result under their belt, sailors came off the water satisfied with a full day of racing.

In the three largest fleets, it was Emily Shearer who came out on top from the Toppers, with Finlay Ritchie the first Optimist, while in the tightly fought ILCA 6 Fleet Ruairi Herrington claimed first.

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Hamish Mackay, the RYA board's performance director, was there watching the action at Largs Sailing Club, and praised the participants. 

He said: “It’s been great to see so many keen sailors turning out in these conditions.

"Between some great racing and some great Christmas attire, it’s clear the Winters are a favourite for many of the youngsters here this weekend.

"For lots of them, it’s a valued chance to get together with comrades they don’t see every weekend at their own club."