03:00PM, Sunday 09 January 2022
Photo credit: Sander van der Borch / Lloyd Images / Oman Sail
Maidenhead Sailing Club’s Leo Wilkinson took on the world’s best young sailors in Oman in the week before Christmas, claiming an impressive 16th place finish in the 29er class alongside crew mate Sam Jones.
The 17-year-old from Flackwell Heath was competing for Great Britain at the Youth Sailing World Championships, where sailors, surfers, windsurfers and kite surfers competed across a range of events.
Some 433 athletes from 56 nations travelled to Oman for what is the pinnacle of youth sailing competitions. Leo said it was ‘a dream come true’ to be selected for the GB team and to race alongside Sam, of Hill Head in the 29er class, a stepping-stone to the Olympic 49er class.
The pair enjoyed several top 10 finishes across five days of racing before finishing a creditable 16th.
Leo learned to sail at Maidenhead Sailing Club, where he’s been attending their youth and junior training sessions since the age of nine. He progressed into the Royal Yachting Association’s UK Junior Squad and became a Topper World Champion in 2019. He is now in his third year with the RYA UK Youth Performance 29er squad.
The sailing club is run by volunteers and is based on the picturesque Summerleaze Lake. It has a thriving youth and junior section, which Leo has benefited from in the past, and weekly racing events for members throughout the year. It is also a recognised RYA training centre.
For more information visit www.maideheadsc.org.uk