Royal Lymington’s Boyle and Heathcote on top of the world

Milly Boyle (right centre) and Vita Heathcote (left centre) on the podium after their gold medal at the 420 world championships in Portugal (Photo: Paul Wyeth RYA)

LYMINGTON teenagers Milly Boyle and Vita Heathcote have clinched the 420 world championship crown after a thrilling finale in Vilamoura, Portugal.


The pair, who are members at Royal Lymington Yacht Club, dominated the week-long regatta, notching up eight top-ten finishes including three wins over the 10-race series.

They saw their healthy lead cut to just a few points on the final day under pressure from Italian duo Irene Calici and Petra Gregori, but managed to hang on for the win.

Victory was sealed when the last race of the event was abandoned due to lack of wind.

Heathcote and Boyle have risen through the ranks of the British Youth Sailing programme, which aims to develop the world’s best young racing sailors.

Last year, they represented the British Youth Sailing Team at the Youth World Championships, finishing in second.

“It’s the weirdest feeling ever, I still can’t believe it’s actually happened,” said Heathcote, 17.

“The last race was so nerve-racking. After five years of sailing 420s we’ve finally won the world championships and it’s such a good feeling.”

Boyle, 18, added: “The Italian girls did so well and deserved everything that they got. We got a little lucky at the end, but we will take that. World champions – we’ll tick that box off, thank you very much!”

Heathcote and Boyle finished the regatta four points ahead of Calici and Gregori, with Melina Pappa and Maria Tsamopoulou of Greece taking bronze.

In the boys’ fleet, Haydn Sewell and Vita’s brother Will Heathcote claimed 15th in the open category. They finished as the top British team in the category with 119 net points.