Double Olympic Champion presents Stanley sailor with Regional Youth Champion Award

Wednesday 13th March 2019

Stanley sailor Lydia Barber was presented with her 2019 RYA Midlands Regional Youth Champion Award by double Olympic gold medalist, Shirley Robertson OBE, at the RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace, London (Sunday 3 March).

Launched in 2014, the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards recognise the outstanding dedication, achievement and performance of talented young people in sailing, windsurfing and powerboating, and 17-year-old Lydia was one of 11 young talents from across the UK who received their awards from Robertson and RYA Director of Racing and two-time Olympic silver medalist, Ian Walker.


Lydia Barber

Lydia Barber receives her RYA Regional Youth Champion award from double Olympic gold medalist, Shirley Robertson OBE (credit RYA).


Ian said: “Although all of the sailors recognised have achieved outstanding results, it’s not just about the titles. It’s so brilliant to see another generation of sailors falling in love with the sport and becoming ambassadors and role models. I’d also like to thank all of the parents, volunteers, coaches and all those that have offered support to all the Regional Youth Champions as without you none of it would be possible.”

Lydia has been sailing for less than two years, but has shown exceptional enthusiasm and dedication, self-funding most of her equipment through a part-time job.The Newcastle College student has no family background in sailing and first got afloat after being offered a taster sail at North Staffs Sailing Club when she was out walking around Stanley Pool one day.

After a summer of learning the ropes on her home patch, in late 2017 she moved to Blithfield Sailing Club, near Abbots Bromley, to develop her racing skills. She has continued to make rapid progress, taking part in Blithfield club racing every weekend, as well as competing at other local sailing clubs, in the popular Derbyshire Youth Sailing series and on Laser Radial class circuit.

Fancy getting afloat this year? You can! Find your local sailing club at while for more information about the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards visit