Jennings crowned national champion

Ben Jennings, Rutland Sailing Club
Ben Jennings, Rutland Sailing Club
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Rutland Sailing Club’s Ben Jennings has been crowned the Topper National Champion 2013 - the most prestigious Topper event of the year.

Stamford-based Ben beat more than 250 sailors following six days racing at the Olympic venue in Weymouth.

And at 14 years old it makes him one of the youngest ever winners of the title.

Ben came out of the three-day qualifying series in the lead, having gained a top three finish in seven out of eight races.

In the three-day championship series that followed he finished day five in first place and took 10-point lead into the final day.

Strong winds led to a challenging racing and Ben finished the event in first on 42 points with a 20-point lead over his nearest rival.

Physical and mental strength, as well as high levels of focus and concentration, are needed to sustain high performance in this length of regatta.

Ben, who started sailing when he was eight, has been a member of Rutland Sailing Club for four and a half years.

He says he owes his success to those at the club who spotted his passion and potential and encouraged him to take it further.

Having spent two years in the North of England Squad, Ben has spent the last year training as part of the GB national junior squad.

In July he represented Great Britain at the Topper Nationals in Ireland and at the Topper World Championships in France where he finished 10th. Ben still trains regularly at Rutland.