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Lymington sailors 'RyVita' set course for world and European championships

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RyVita – Ryan Orr and Vita Heathcote
RyVita – Ryan Orr and Vita Heathcote

ROYAL Lymington YC sailors Vita Heathcote and Ryan Orr have stepped up their preparations for the world championships in Villamoura, Portugal.

The duo, who affectionally refer to themselves as 'RyVita', are granted elite athlete exemptions meaning they can travel for training camps and events without quarantining.

The world championships are taking place this year after organisers were forced to postpone the original event – scheduled for 13th March 2020 in Palma, Mallorca – due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After a month-long training camp in Weymouth, they will fly out to Portugal before spending five months on the international circuit competing in four major events.

Their schedule starts with a training regatta before they compete at the world championships on 4th March. That’s followed by the Princess Sophia regatta in Palma, Majorca, on 26th March.

They then fly to Hyeres in France for a regatta on 17th April prior to the European championships there on 30th April.

The pair, who teamed up in 2019, said: “We finished UK-based training with a productive Weymouth camp. Now it’s time to test our organisational skills as we have to pack all our equipment for five months abroad.

“We left for Vilamoura for pre-worlds training at the start of January and return from Hyeres after the Europeans mid-May. Over the past couple of weeks, we have been doing work on our Cecil Wright-sponsored race boat, getting her ready for four major events, particularly the worlds and Europeans.

“We are so grateful to be going into such a critical event period with a new boat where we can have confidence that it will reflect our sailing performance.

“We have also just got a new mast, as our other one was bent, so we are now all set up to be the fasted boat on that race track.”

Vita and Ryan are aiming to make the 2024 Paris Olympics in the mixed 470 fleet, which will be the event’s Olympic debut.

They added: “In December we had a few camps with world-class coaches which was massively productive, and we feel like we have taken a big step up. In particular, we tackled our upwind technique, pumping, and downwind rocking, which has really boosted our confidence going into this event period.”

Vita and Ryan recently announced a new partnership with health and life insurance and investment business Vitality. They also thanked their sponsor Cecil Wright for its continued support. For more information, visit their Facebook page Vita/Ryan470sailing.

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