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Lymington's Sesto Cosby seals world youth silver

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ROYAL Lymington Yacht Club’s Santi Sesto Cosby and crewmate Leo Wilkinson have won silver in the 29er skiff at the Allianz Youth World Sailing Championships.

Considered the stepping stone to the World Sailing Championships, the Youth World Championships sees male and female sailors up to the age of 19 compete at a high level, with only one entrant selected per country to compete in each class.

The former Priestlands student and Wilkinson went into the final day of the regatta in the Dutch city of The Hague with a battle on their hands, with only one point splitting the teams in second, third and fourth.

Santi Sesto Cosby and Leo Wilkinson finished behind an Argentinian pair (Photo: RYA)
Santi Sesto Cosby and Leo Wilkinson finished behind an Argentinian pair (Photo: RYA)

The duo’s fourth-place finish in the final race was enough to seal silver in the male 29er fleet.

The success of the young sailors put Great Britain fourth on the overall scoreboard out of 67 nations competing.

Lymington’s Sesto Cosby and Maidenhead’s Wilkinson came together early this year but have formed a formidable partnership.

In that short time, they won the RYA Youth National Championships in April and were selected to represent Great Britain at the Youth World Championships.

“We knew we had the potential to do well, but it is fair to say we weren’t the favourites to win the youth nationals,” said 16-year-old Sesto Cosby, who has just finished his GCSEs at Southampton’s King Edward VI School.

“Since getting selected, we turned up the training, and we went into the youth worlds aiming to sail as best as we can. As the event went on, we settled into a top-five position and went into the final day trying to stay on the podium.

“I’d like to thank Royal Lymington YC for all their support with allowing us to sail every weekend and providing us with a RIB, as well as the amazing sessions had with RLymYC head coach Hugh.

“It’s been an incredible year, and we have come so far since we started sailing together in January. Also, I would like to thank the RYA and all the coaches, as well as Lymington Town Council – especially Cllr Jacqui England – and obviously my mum and dad for their endless support and encouragement.”

Sesto Cosby and Wilkinson in action (photo: RYA)
Sesto Cosby and Wilkinson in action (photo: RYA)

With the Argentinian pair already guaranteed the gold, the race was on for the remaining podium spots, with just one point splitting the next three teams.

To secure silver, Sesto Cosby and Wilkinson had to beat their Spanish rivals – who were nipping at their heels the entire race.

RLymYC junior and youth head coach, Hugh Styles, said: “It is fantastic to see Santi and Leo win a silver medal at the Youth World Sailing Championship. In six months, they have gone from being a new pairing to winning the RYA Youth Nationals and now this success.

“It’s been my pleasure as the head coach of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club to work with them on this journey. I’ve been impressed by their passion for their sport, their dedication and their commitment to learning every single day.”

Santi’s mum, Valeria Sesto, said: “We are very happy for Santi and Leo that it all came together at the right time. Their result is testament to their hard work, passion, commitment and dedication.

“The boys only had two months to prepare for this event during exams, so they based themselves in Lymington every weekend and trained during the week when possible.

“We are very grateful for everything the club has done to help, including guaranteeing the use of a RIB for training. The head coach, Hugh Styles, coached the boys brilliantly on three occasions, and top sailor Kirstie Urwin also coached them. The boys always asked their fellow 29er sailors to join them out on the water and, most of the time, they had company.”

Sesto Cosby will now team up with a new crew in the 29er, while Wilkinson will move into the Olympic 49er class, with both intending to campaign for Los Angeles 2028.

For more information about Royal Lymington Yacht Club, visit rlymyc.org.uk

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