Alfreton sailor chasing world glory

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A young Ogston Sailing Club talent, who was inspired by the Arthur Ransome classic book Swallows and Amazons, hopes to complete an emphatic 2014 golden hat-trick when he travels to France for the Allen RS Feva World Championships later this month.

Alfreton’s Harvey Martin, with Warrington-based partner and reigning Feva World champion Bobby Hewitt, have already landed the 2014 European and National titles in the two-person RS Feva XL, one of the junior classes supported by sailing’s national governing body, the RYA, on the pathway to Olympic Classes sailing.

But now they have their eyes on the biggest prize as they prepare to battle for World glory in Carnac from 26th July-1st August.

Harvey (15) first tried sailing aged eight after being taken along to a free Open Day at Ogston SC near his Alfreton home. By the end of that taster session he had signed up as member of the club’s Junior training programme and hasn’t looked back since.

Mum Sara explained: “I read Swallows and Amazons to him and he just loved it. Not long after there was an Open Day at Ogston so we went along and all had a sail out on the water. That day changed his life.

“For the first couple of years he just sailed at Ogston, gradually travelling to events forming part of the Derbyshire Youth Sailing (DYS) Series and sailing in a Topper one-person dinghy, where he won the Ellen McArthur Junior Series Trophy.

“He then got into sailing double-handers, firstly a Mirror, in which he and Ogston club mate, Rory Mackenzie, won National and European titles, and then the Feva, with another Ogston sailor, Will Ward. When Will and Bobby Hewitt’s helm got too old for the RYA National Junior RS Feva Squad, Harvey and Bobby teamed up.

“They have already had an incredible year, to now finish with a podium place out of the 188 entries from 20 different countries at the Worlds would be very special.”

As well as the National and European crowns this year, Harvey and Bobby have also won the RS Feva Crown Cup in the Czech Republic and the RS Feva Grand Series.

The boys travel to France this weekend for what will be their RS Feva swansong.

As soon as they return they will be moving up into the 29er high performance double-handed Youth class and heading to the 29er Nationals in North Berwick near Edinburgh in August, for what will be their very first event in their new class. The boys are hoping to be selected for RYA Transition Squad this winter.

As a member of the RYA talent pathway squads, Harvey receives training and coaching support, helping him to develop his racing skills, knowledge and techniques.

He has also received support from the Derbyshire Institute of Sport as well as Ogston SC’s own Harry Fisher Trust, which has provided him with new sails for both his Topper and Feva campaigns.

Harvey is not the only talented Martin making waves as 12-year-old brother Roscoe also won the RS Tera Sport European Championship the same weekend that Harvey won his Feva European crown in June.

Ogston Sailing Club is a recognised RYA Training Centre meaning it conforms to the highest standards of safety and quality.

If you think you could follow in the Martins’ footsteps or would simply just like to know more about getting into sailing at Ogston SC visit www.ogstonsc.co.uk.

Picture by Peter Newton.