THE Team Isle of Wight sailors — whittled down to four from a wealth of young talent — stand a great chance winning an Island Games medal in Guernsey.

Over the next few weeks, the County Press will be introducing you to the athletes heading to Guernsey, to represent the Isle of Wight at the 2023 Island Games.

Our sailors have set themselves a high bar at other competitions, but they told us they know the competition will be tough. 

One of those competing again in the Island Games is Charlie White, who will be sailing alongside his brother, Harry, two of three sailing triplets.

He said: "I know Bermuda's got pretty much half an Olympic team with them.

"They've got a Moth European champion, I believe."

The Island Games will take place in Guernsey from 8-14 July. 

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"This is my and Harry's second games. The pressure's a bit off slightly. We know what to expect," said Charlie.

"We know it's going to be tough week.

"We just have to stick to the plan and try our best. We'll have debriefs everyday, really focus and go all out."

Charlie and Harry will be part of a team of four going to Guernsey, alongside Alex Downer, who competed with them in Gibraltar in 2019, and newbie, Noah Evans, 17. 

Four is the maximum number of sailors allowed per team competing in the Games, with all boats supplied by its organisers, which puts all teams on an equal playing field.

Three of the team go the Games with more experience than their team manager, Tony Burton — but Tony is a vastly experienced internationally successful sailor who has been involved in Island Games training for the past three years.

Isle of Wight County Press: Tony Burton, the manager of Team Isle of Wight's sailing team.Tony Burton, the manager of Team Isle of Wight's sailing team. (Image: Jon Moreno)

The team have been training and sailing together in preparation at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in Fishbourne, and will train at Brading Haven Yacht Club, a championship-style course, on July 1.

All sailing at the Games will be done in the Laser classes (now known as ILCA), in standard 7m and radial 6m rigs,

Noah and Charlie are in the 6m rig, while Alex and Harry are in the 7m rig, with all scores compiled.

With such a wealth of young sailing talent on the Island, it was a tricky decision for Tony to make — whittling down the team.

"I'd like to think that as a team we should be a good bet for a medal, adding the four results together," said Tony.

"I think we have a good, well-balanced squad and stand a good chance of getting one of the medals.

"I want to lay the foundation for success in future years. In the past, we've had individuals who have done quite well, but what I'd like to see is to build on the training we've had and create a conveyor belt of young people coming through ready for future Island Games.

"I also want to instil a greater sense of competition. The team I've assembled has quite a bit of competitive championship experience between them already.

"They can all sail. It's just a matter of getting them to make the right decisions, which will make all the difference."

Tony will be at his first Island Games, having been denied the opportunity in 2021 when Covid caused the plug to be pulled on the Jersey Games.

"It will be a great new experience. I'm pleased to be imparting my knowledge to our up-and-coming sailors and I hope we can come up with good results."