Sail 4 Cancer Heads To The Olympics!

31 October 2005

Yngling Team GBRGemma Farrel, Diana Shanks and Rachel Howe are proud to be representing Sail 4 Cancer on the Olympic Regatta Circuit.  Currently based at the Weymouth and Portland sailing academy the girls are training five days a week before they head to Miami this January to compete in the Rolex Olympic Classes Regatta and the Northern American Keelboat Championships with their Yngling.

Despite their young age, all three girls bring a wealth of knowledge and talent to the team. They each have the different skills, experience and background in sailing that make this a powerful and winning combination – illustrated by their title win in the Ladies National Match Racing Championship.

The girls are now training partners to the team of Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb, gold medal winners from the 2004 Olympics.  This is providing a consistent high level of competition against which to assess their progress.

Gemma, Diana and Rachel are looking for a sponsor for their campaign… please spread the word!  They receive National Lottery and UK Sport Funding through the RYA but are still in need of a full time title sponsor to compete at this high level.

The trio are aiming for a top ten position in the Yngling worlds in July 2006 so they can secure the next level of Olympic funding.  Rache Howe is an Anbassador for Sail 4 Cancer and we are absolutely delighted that the team will be sailing in Sail 4 Cancer colours!  Everyone at Sail 4 Cancer wishes them every success.  Find out more about the crew below:

Helm: Gemma Farrel, 21

The youngest member of the crew, Gemma was inspired to sail by her father and has never looked back. After sailing in the Optimist class from a young age she was ranked 3rd British Female by the age of 15 and became a member of the RYA British U15 Squad.  Gemma then took a step up to the 420 and was chosen for the Elite GBR Training Squad and gained national and international podium positions.  In 2003 Gemma was selected for the RYA Volvo Keelboat Squad and Olympic Development Squad where she came together with Rachel and Diana to form the Yngling crew.

Middle: Diana Shanks, 30

Diana has come from a wealth of Keelboat experience and has brought her sheer strength and fitness to the middle of the boat. Her sailing stems over 10 years of Etchell racing which is one of the most highly technical and prestigious keelboat classes worldwide. As well as an expanse of Match Racing events where she has crewed with individuals like Shirley Robinson and Cordelia Eglin. In 2000 Diana was ranked 2nd in the Match Racing World Rankings and has continued her success with gaining a 7th in the Etchell Worlds. Diana was the last of the crew to be chosen for the campaign but has proven that she has been the missing link for their success.

Bow: Rachel Howe, 22

Rachel started sailing in her Firefly in which she was committed to win. After winning the Youth Nationals, she moved in to the single handed O.K class where she once again stormed the class gaining both Youth National and Women’s titles. With an additional 4 years in the Merlin Rocket class where Rachel crewed and learned all the techniques for her position on the Yngling. Whilst at Cambridge University, she captained the sailing team and began match racing with the RYA on their J80’s, from there Rachel and Gemma formed together the beginning of their Yngling campaign. With her engineering degree and hands on personality Rachel is vital to the maintenance and performance of the boat.


Sail 4 Cancer Heads To The Olympics!
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