RS:X windsurfer and Youth World Champion Kieran Martin named West Midlands RYA Youth Champion.
More details from the RYA:
ISAF Youth World Champion lands regional award for achievement.
Rising Stoke windsurfing star, Kieran Martin, has been revealed as one of the first winners of the new RYA Regional Youth Champion awards.
The 19-year-old from Cheadle was unveiled as the West Midlands RYA Youth Champion at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show on Sunday 2 March.
The new awards recognise the outstanding achievement and performance of young people across the range of activities the RYA – boating’s national governing body – represents, including sailing, windsurfing and powerboating.
Kieran, who was nominated by his coach, Oli Woodcock, and selected as a winner by the RYA West Midlands regional committee, had a 2013 to remember.
Already a multiple World and European age-group medalist, including 2011 U17 BIC Techno World Champion, Kieran landed the ‘big one’ last July as he romped to RS:X class gold at the 2013 ISAF Youth Sailing World Champion in Limassol, Cyprus.
It was the first time Britain had won a male windsurfing medal at the ISAF Youth Worlds – considered the Blue Riband international event for young sailors – since double Olympic medalist, Nick Dempsey, claimed bronze in South Africa in 1998.
Not only did Kieran, now a member of the British Sailing Team Podium Potential Squad following his Cyprus success, land the ISAF Youth Worlds crown he did it by a staggering 20 points with one race still to go!
Kieran said: “It was a really big achievement. Winning an ISAF Youth Worlds medal was the start of Nick’s Olympic pathway and hopefully it can be the start of mine too. It gave me a lot of confidence to now go on and perform on the senior platform.”
Since last summer triumph Kieran has also started an Engineering degree at the University of Exeter, meaning he has to balance his windsurfing with his studies.
He added: “I’m still going to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy for training every weekend, it just requires a lot more self-discipline and organisation than before. You’ve got to have the drive to want to do it.”
Oli Woodcock, Men’s RS:X British Sailing Team Podium Potential Squad Coach, said: “Kieran’s performance in Cyprus was the outstanding performance by any British Youth age-group sailor last year. Only a week earlier he had had a disappointing Europeans so to bounce back and perform at the level he did and win with a day to spare was excellent.
“Kieran is a laidback character and things don’t really faze him. He’s a very modest lad but having that result behind him gave the security of inclusion in the Podium Potential Squad and since January he’s been training hard for the year ahead.”
Kieran will not be resting on his laurels this year as he looks to establish himself at senior level. He will join the rest of his British Sailing Team teammates at ISAF World Cup events in Palma and Hyeres this spring before focusing on the European Championships in Turkey in July.
He will also be bidding for selection for the ISAF World Championships, which are taking place in Santander, Spain in September.
For more information on the RYA Regional Youth Champion awards visit www.rya.org.uk/go/youthchampion