Parke celebrates national glory

Anthony Parke Picture: Paul Wyeth/RYA
Anthony Parke Picture: Paul Wyeth/RYA
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HAYLING ISLAND’s Anthony Parke won gold at the RYA Youth National Championships.

The 20-year-old secured the top place in the Laser Standard class at the Welsh National Sailing Academy Plas Heli.

A full schedule of racing took place over five days, with over 300 sailors competing from around the UK at the premier event on the youth sailing calendar.

And it was a battle to the final race in the Laser Standard, with Swanage’s Sam Whaley having to beat Parke by three places to take the Championship.

At the first mark Whaley was winning and Parke was 10th.

As the race continued, though, the Hayling ace picked off the places to eventually finish second and claim the championship win.

‘I feel pretty good, just feel really happy as I was third last year and the year before, so it’s great to finally win,’ said Parke.

‘I had worked out the points, around the first mark I knew I had a lot to do but luckily my downwind boat speed came through again and I managed to pull it back to second.

‘I wanted to check I wasn’t over before celebrating too much, but after that I was just happy.’

Next up for Parke is Kiel Week, Germany, in June, which is where the under-21 world championships will be held in August.

‘I will be heading out there for a bit of practice before the worlds which I plan to medal at,’ added Parke.

‘Last year I was 26th and I really hope I can medal this time.’