SAILING: Grantham’s Val beats off all Challengers

Val Millward
Val Millward

Grantham sailor Val Millward contested the Challenger Class UK Championships which were held at Rutland Sailor Club last weekend.

There were eight races over the three day series and Val said the weather was perfect, but not her ideal conditions.

She said: “It was possibly the first time all eight races had been sailed for a number of years, either due to no wind or too much wind.”

Sailing her Challenger craft ‘Red Jester’, Val triumphed overall with three race victories and was never placed below third in any race. Runner-up Zoltan Pegan (Sailability Hungary) won two races and three other competitors shared the remaining wins.

Val said she felt the pressure from those around her: “It is hard to maintain concentration levels over eight races, particularly when the competition is hard on your heels, just waiting for that one mistake to get past.”

In August, she also won the Challenger Class section of the RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta, also held at Rutland Sailing Club. Val was pleased to have won her section but was very surprised when she was also awarded the Ken Ellis Trophy as the regatta champion for 2013.