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George Coles

George Coles.

The 16-year-old Lady Manners School sixth form student and Carsington Sailing Club member, from Stanton in the Peak, was selected for the Laser RYA UK programme after strong performances at the Laser National Championship and is also on the Derbyshire Institute of Sport programme.

George says: "I have been sailing since I was three years old and have progressed through the Single handed pathway with the RYA North Zone Training squads the RYA Topper UK National Junior Squad.

"For 2015/16, I was a member of the RYA T1 training squad, transitioning into the Laser Dinghy class. During the year I out grew the smaller youth/woman's sail and I am now racing in the full men's Olympic class, at 16 I am the youngest competitive sailor in the UK fleet. I am now looking to consolidate my years of training with a season focused on gaining as much national and international racing experience as possible.

"At the 2017 autumn qualifiers, I will be competing for a place on the RYA Laser Standard Youth Squad. Winning a place on the squad is extremely difficult, this year only four out of a possible eight places were won. Part of the reason for the low number of places being awarded is the very high fitness bench mark that has to be attained. I am confident of reaching this very high fitness requirement because of the very professional guidance and support that I am receiving from everybody at the Derbyshire Institute of Sport."

"I finished the summer ranked inside the top third of the Laser Radial Fleet and following this Autumns qualifiers, sailing in the men's Olympic class, I am ranked 36th and in the top half of the UK's fleet.

"Looking to forward to the Spring Qualifiers in March 2017, my target is to be selected to represent Great Britain at the Under 21 European and World Championships.

"My ambition is to be part of the RYA Olympic podium squad and to sail in an Americas Cup Team, but there is a lot of hard work and good sailing to be done before I can achieve this."