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Ceredigion teenager sailors help win the Celtic Cup for Wales

AT THE BEGINNING of February local teenagers Bronwen Thomas and Steffan Williams, both pupils at Ysgol Bro Teifi, travelled to north Wales to compete in the sailing Celtic Cup in Pwllheli in very challenging weather conditions but win the cup for Team Wales after 12 years.

The sailing event consisted of six of the best sailors from Wales, Northern Island and Scotland in their respective boat classes. Bronwen competed in an ILCA 6 class while Steffan competed in the Topper class.

Steffan Williams and Bronwen Thomas

Describing the sailing Bronwen, aged 16 from Tresaith Marniers Sailing Club explained, “On the first day of racing there was 7-13kts of wind, perfect conditions for me to have a good start to the event leading and winning the first race from the start, followed by two Northern Island sailors. With consistent results throughout the day I was 4th overnight. On the Sunday there was 25-36kts of wind so many were in survival mode, but Steffan was able to shine, bringing in some great results for Wales in his class.”

Steffan, aged 15 from New Quay Yacht Club added, “It was a very challenging weekend competing against some of the top sailors in the UK in very strong winds and waves, but I really enjoyed. We made some great friends from Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“Then winning the cup was amazing. It was a great event as every sailors’ results counted from every race and it was so close. We won by one point. It was a great team effort putting our bodies on the line for Wales. I’m so proud of us all.”

Steffan sailing in the competition in the Topper class

By the end of weekend, Bronwen came 5th in the ILCA fleet and Steffan came 8th but overall, the points from each sailor were counted and Team Wales won the cup by one point.

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Gareth Thomas, Bronwen’s father added, “It was a fantastic event organised by RYA Cymru. We want to thank all the volunteers and coaches.

“Bronwen is now looking for sponsorship to compete in the European circuit. She aims to take part in the ILCA 4 World Championships, ILCA 4 Europeans and all of the Europa Cup series. With events being held all over Europe she will need financial support to be in the best position to stay on her Olympic Sailing Pathway. If anyone would like to donate here is the link to Bronwen’s go fund me page: https://gofund.me/0ff65366.”

Steffan with his medal