UK squad call-up for local sailor

Anna in action on the water.

Anna in action on the water.

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A Dundee High School pupil has been offered a place in one of Britain’s top sailing squads after coming first junior girl in the UK at the squad qualifiers.

Thirteen-year-old Anna Sturrock from Letham is the youngest of four Scots who have just been invited to join the Royal Yachting Association’s UK junior squad for Topper racing.

The Royal Tay Yacht Club cadet made the team after being the only junior girl out of 250 competitors to make it in to the gold fleet, or top third, at the Topper Nationals in Weymouth, Dorset, this year.

Anna said: “Taking my place will mean making up to twenty trips South of the Border next year for training and events. Obviously it will mean a lot of time off school, but The High School of Dundee has been very supportive, promising to ensure I don’t miss out academically.”

Toppers - 3.4 metre-long single-handed sailing dinghies - are one of the UK’s most popular boats, with many hundreds being raced by children and adults at clubs around Britain. The aim of the squad is to support talented British sailors to help achieve international success in youth and Olympic programmes in future years.

Most of Anna’s training will be in Weymouth and other venues on the south coast, so she is hoping to attract some financial sponsorship to enable her to participate fully in the squad and events next year.

She added: “Even very small amounts of sponsorship would be very welcome and much appreciated.”

Anna also intends to continue racing and training in Scotland where she is currently ranked first female Topper racer by the Scottish RYA. She finished the Scottish Topper traveller series on a high note this month, taking first place at the final traveller at Loch Tummel Sailing Club.