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Arwen Rules the Waves


Arwen Fflur is 14 years old and already, her sailing achievements are more than impressive. After a recent daring transition to the next boat (Laser/ ILCA 4.7), not only did she win the Welsh Championship a couple of weekends ago, but she came third in the National Qualifier and finished first girl:


“It was very pleasing to see growing female participation (almost 50%) in the fleet. Arwen Fflur had a very strong performance, particularly in the light winds of the second day, scoring a hat-trick of silver placings, and breaking the dominance of the boys in the middle of the top five placings on the scoreboard.” - Sail-World United Kingdom


On this ground-breaking day, Arwen was awarded two gold medal places: the UKLA Sailingfast Youth (U18) Qualifier ILCA 4 Girls gold medal and the RYA ILCA-4 Junior (U16) Championship ILCA4 Girls gold medal.

Arwen first fell in love with sailing when she was six years old, when her parents paid for a series of sailing lessons at Port Dinorwic sailing club, her vessel of choice is an Optimist Dinghy. “I remember the first time I sailed on Bala lake, I had just turned seven and I although I’d capsized and got soaking wet it was the best thing I’d ever done and have never looked back,” she says with a smile. “It’s just so peaceful but also exhilarating to be out sailing on the waves.”


Last year, Arwen was ranked 6th overall in the UK, and first girl in the Optimist class. In the summer, Arwen won the Female British National Championship. She has represented GBR in several regattas, the European Championships, several European Team racing events and has competed in Europe and America. She has competed in the Optisprings Regatta in the Netherlands and won top junior girl, and also at the largest sailing regatta in the world at Lake Garda, in Italy. The event attracts over 1,000 international sailors and Arwen made it into Gold fleet which was a fantastic experience as she competed against some of the best sailors in the world. She finished 20th girl overall (out of about 290).


These are exciting times for Arwen as her strength and confidence increase. At St David’s, Arwen is part of our athlete mentorship programme which is available as an extension to our PE curriculum for any student who wants to take advantage of the extra support on offer to aid them in their individual sporting endeavour. The mentorship involves access to a bespoke strength and conditioning programme tailored specifically to the individual students chosen sport.


This programme is accessed via our online app Teambuildr so that students can access and update their programme around their other school and academic commitments.


Arwen’s mentor Ross Williams explains:


“Arwen’s strength and conditioning programme has been designed in collaboration with her GB sailing development coaches to work on the specific areas she needs to develop physically to perform in her event. She is also able to access 1-2-1 coaching during the school day where we focus on guiding her through her strength and conditioning programme as well as helping with the psychological demands of being a young developing athlete.


Arwen’s commitment and enthusiasm are unrivalled for her age and it has been a joy to see her apply a level of focus and maturity that is needed to grow as an athlete on and off the water. Since returning to school post lockdown she has jumped at all opportunities to engage in our athlete support programme which shows real maturity, and her confidence is growing each week.”


Arwen’s mother comments on the support that Ross and the PE Department is providing:


“It is going even better than we could have possibly hoped! I think the talks must be helping - she seems to have got her confidence back - thank you!” comments Arwen’s mother on the support and mentorship that Ross and the PE Department are providing.

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