Sidmouth duo win Nigerian sailing title

HIGHER seas beckon for a Sidbury business owner and a Sidmouth student who have just been crowned the winners of Nigeria's boat racing National Championships. It was plain sailing for Kevin Gosling, 49, owner of Gosling Dinghy Craft Ltd, and 18-year-old s

HIGHER seas beckon for a Sidbury business owner and a Sidmouth student who have just been crowned the winners of Nigeria's boat racing National Championships.It was plain sailing for Kevin Gosling, 49, owner of Gosling Dinghy Craft Ltd, and 18-year-old student of The King's School Alex Hayman, who took part in the race last weekend alongside helm man Michael Barnes in the Lightening sailing dinghy class at the Nigerian championships.Kevin and Alex jumped at the chance of battling it out after Michael, a loyal customer of Kevin's, mentioned the race in passing, just less than a year ago.Kevin, who has been building boats for over 30 years, said: "Michael lives in London but does a lot of work in Nigeria, so that is how he got involved in the competition."Alex was working with me at the time and, when Michael said he needed a crew, we both said 'yes please!'"Despite the trio being unable to train together in advance of the race, their competitive edge took the championships by storm and they knocked out the other contestants over a series of seven races.Kevin, Alex and Michael were awarded a trophy in recognition of their triumph but they hope this is just a taster of what is to come.Now the title holders are gearing up for the World Championships in September, held in Vermont, where they will go head-to-head with some of the globe's best.Kevin, a member of both Sidmouth and Beer sailing clubs, said: "It was quite a good feat. It was a thing we went out to do to improve for the World Championships but we obviously wanted to win."A new boat is now being built in Vermont ready for the eight-day contest and the talented trio are already planning their training schedule.Kevin added: "We are going to start training for the World Championships in August and will be going out to Vermont the week before."It will certainly be a challenge. I'm not feeling daunted, but looking forward to it.


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