A TEENAGER from North Yorkshire has been selected to represent Great Britain at a world sailing competition.

Oliver Rayner, from Slingsby in Ryedale, is set to travel to the Netherlands where he will compete in the Youth Sailing World Championships.

The 17-year-old is part of the Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club, and will join teammate Alice Davis, of Draycote Water Sailing Club in Rugby, in the mixed sailing event.

Oliver and Alice sailed against each other when they were younger but have been sailing as a pair since 2020.

They will join 16 other talented youngsters, all aged 18 or under, at the event to represent the British Youth Sailing Team.

The sailors were selected after their performance at the recent Royal Yachting Association Youth National Championships, where Oliver and Alice won gold.

Previous Youth Worlds participants include the world’s most decorated Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie and 2008 Beijing gold medallist Pippa Wilson.

The team will be coached and supported by Olympian Kate Macgregor, current British iQFOiL women’s coach Sam Ross and British Youth Sailing squad coach James Hadden.

Gazette & Herald:  Oliver Rayner and Alice Davis will compete at the Youth Sailing World Championships Picture: Jon Cawthorne Oliver Rayner and Alice Davis will compete at the Youth Sailing World Championships Picture: Jon Cawthorne

Oliver said: “I’m feeling a little bit apprehensive, it’s the biggest competition I’ve done.

"In the last international event I competed in (Palamos Christmas Regatta) we were in first place after the first day, which was a huge surprise and confidence boost for us.

"Even though we finished 24th, in the end, we learnt a lot from this."

Oliver, a sixth form student at Malton School, is now well underway with training.

He has been training every weekend with the British Youth Squad, and stays on top of his fitness through the week with running and circuit training.

Alongside training, Oliver and his team have been competing at national level events where they've been ranked number one in the UK, after consistently finishing in the top three.

He said that his typical weekend starts with a six hour drive from school to the National Sailing Academy in Weymouth.

The training venue frequently changes to ensure the athletes are kept well rounded in a range of conditions.

During training, Oliver spends 3-5 hours on the water then looks back and reviews his performance. He is also responsible for the cleaning and upkeep of his boat. 

Oliver said: "Training is going really well and we’re now seeing the hard work we’ve put in pay off in our results."

The Youth Sailing World Championships is celebrating its 51st year and will run from July 8-15 at The Hague, Netherlands.