Portsmouth High School sisters set for sailing success
Girls strive to compete at the highest level
Over the last year, Portsmouth High School’s Matilda Nicholls, 15, has been building on her sailing career, gaining a Bronze Medal at the Girls U16 Laser 4.7 World Championship in August, winning the U16s European Championships and ending the season as the Women’s Laser Radial Inland National Champion at Rutland Water.
Matilda continues to study hard at Portsmouth High School and uses time during PE lessons to work on the intense fitness training required to be performing at such a high level. She also loves team sports and represents the school in Hockey, Netball and Rounders.
Over the winter, Matilda has sailed in several qualifying events in the Laser Radial; which has a slightly larger rig and has achieved some impressive results. At Weymouth in February, she was competing in the first in the series of World and European Qualifying events against some of the top sailors in the class. She secured a remarkable 2nd place to the World Champion and British Olympic sailor, Ali Young.
Over the Easter holidays, Matilda sailed in her first British Youth Nationals event at Hayling Island where she was competing in the Girls Laser Class. She achieved a very creditable 2nd place U19 and 4th place U21, against some considerably experienced and full-time radial sailors.
Matilda now has some time to concentrate on her GCSEs examinations before travelling to Belgium for the Laser 4.7 World Championships at Nieuwpoort, and to Wales for the British Laser National Championships in the summer.
Younger sister Flo, 14, is continuing her rise through the ranks and has been invited to be part of the British Junior Sailing Squad. She has most recently competed in Spain at the European Championships, an U16 and U18 event.
Flo is currently the #2 ranked Laser 4.7 Girl in Great Britain and will also be competing in Belgium and Wales in the summer.