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Rebecca sails to top award

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By Fiona Reid
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Rebecca sails to top award

A TEENAGE sailor from Annandale has won a top award for helping youngsters get into the sport.

Rebecca Coles, who is a member of Annandale Sailing Club in Lochmaben, was presented with the Young Person of the Year award at the RYA Scotland ceremony in Glasgow last weekend.
The judges were impressed with her work starting at Optimist junior sailing group at the club.
An overwhelmed Rebecca said: “I’m really excited to be among some deserving nominees. Since so many put time in to teach me to sail, so putting back through my club this year has been great. I’ve been doing my coaching qualifications and helping younger sailors progress.”
And she’s looking forward to a busy year of sailing ahead with world champion Niamh Harper, from Loch Tummel, who won the RYA youth sailor award.
The girls are going to be sailing in a 420 and are hoping to sail together at the U17 Worlds in Italy.
Rebecca said: “This year is going to all about the 420 with Niamh Harper, which is really exciting.”
David Frame, of the sportscotland national centre Cumbrae, presented Rebecca’s award and said: “Today’s young sailors go on to be the instructors, coaches, officials, commodores and volunteers of the future, something we have helped to shape over the past 40 years in Scotland.”
A spokesman for the RYA added: “This is a fantastic achievement from a person so young, to take the initiative and start up a club like this. The rapport that she has with the group is excellent and Rebacca has been very strong in teaching the children to be self-reliant, to rig and launch the boats themselves and work as a team.”
Rebecca decided to start up an Optimist Club to develop younger sailors further and to teach them all the things she had learnt as an Optimist sailor. The club was initially started on Thursday nights, with a handful of children. However, following a lot of hard work from Rebecca, and the good results and the great fun the children were having, there are now ten registered for the club.

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26th Feb

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