TWO teenage boys proved that they were worth their salt by sailing their way to victory at an inaugural regatta.
The Portsmouth Sail Training Trust hosted the finals of the first HMS Bristol Trophy Regatta at Portsmouth Harbour.
Portsmouth friends Tom Wilkinson and Frank Leslie, both 16, were crowned winners on July 29, following two relentless days of racing.
Frank said: ‘It was a great feeling to win, seeing as it was our first regatta.
‘The first day ended on a bit of a low because we had a small bump in our boat, but we bounced back. It was good all round.’
The trophy, which is named after the ship now permanently moored in the harbour, was presented to the teenagers by the ship’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander David Price.
The cup, inscribed with the words ‘Where you come from is not nearly as important as where you are going’, was donated to HMS Bristol by Lady Hogg in 1973.
Lt Cdr Price said: ‘It was an honour to be asked to present the winners of the regatta with the trophy.
‘I have been involved as a volunteer at the charity for a year and have seen first hand what great opportunities it provides for local school children.’
The trust was founded in 2013 to encourage young people from socially deprived areas to get involved in the sport and learn marine skills.
It was a great feeling to win, seeing as it was our first regattaFrank Leslie
Pupils participated in a total of nine races during the finals, after attending training programmes from the Trafalgar School, St Edmund’s Catholic School and Charter Academy.
Sailing on one of the trust’s 19-foot Squib keelboats, Charter Academy students Tom and Frank were also given the Best Helm and Crew trophies by trust supporter Anne Fairey.
Anne presented the accolades in memory of her son Alexander – an army captain and keen sailor who died in a motorbike accident in 1997.
Frank is now looking forward to participating in more races following his initial success with Tom.
He said: ‘I am taking part in Cowes Week, so I hope to progress to do more races like that.’
Fellow trust pupil Declan Hayes was also presented with the Most Improved Sailor trophy by Rear Admiral Paul Bennett CB OBE.
Trust chairman Edward Phillips said: ‘A fantastic two days racing fun was had by all our young people, and for all our volunteers and helpers.
‘We are extremely grateful for all the support to PSTT and the regatta in particular to the Royal Navy, Anne Fairey and to HMS Bristol for providing an amazing base for the inaugural regatta.’