Leo and Santi battle to 29er victory at Royal Youth National Championships

Photo credit: Sander van der Borch

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Maidenhead Sailing Club’s Leo Wilkinson partnered Santi Sesto Cosby to victory in the 29er class at the 2022 Royal Youth National Championships in Pwllheli in Wales. In a tight 29er battle, he and Sesto Cosby pulled away from Royal Lymington Yacht Club pair, Ben Mueller and Sam Webb, in light, but shifting wind conditions to be crowned champions on the final day.

The competition – which attracted 280 young sailors from across the country – also served as a qualification event for the forthcoming Allianz Youth Sailing World Championships.

Throughout the championships, conditions varied from sunny to foggy, therefore a lot of tactics and skill were required to successfully guide the boats around the course.

Wilkinson’s partner, Sesto Cosby, 16, said: “Leo and I started sailing together only in January, and before that he’d only helmed.

“So, it has been a very steep learning curve; that it all clicked together at the right time was just amazing.”

A topper world champion, Leo has only recently branched out into both the 29er and 49er classes and is already showing great promise in both, as demonstrated by this victory.

He was also recently honoured with a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Musto Youth Awards for his progress and achievements in the sport.

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