A SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD sailing prodigy warmed up for representing Great Britain in New Zealand later this month with a superb podium finish in a top level race on the Solent.
Baxenden sailor Jak Cornthwaite overcame gusts of up to 35mph to finish third at the Open Qualifier for World and European events, held at Stokes Bay Sailing Club - his best ever finish in such a highly prized event.
The event attracted 112 competitors and served to underline Jak's selection for the World Laser Radial Youth Championships, for which he has just completed an intensive winter training regime.
Jak, who is hoping for more big winds when he competes Down Under, registered a 5th, a 2nd and a 1st in the three round robin races on Saturday to be in second place overall after the event's first day. On Sunday with the field split into Gold and Silver fleets, he fought back from a shaky start to power his way through in the two Gold fleet races to finish with another 2nd and a 3rd. (s)