WEAVERHAM sailor Rob Partridge is a world champion for the second time.

The Sir John Deane's College student, who won the Topper youth title two years ago, was crowned again when he and partner Dylan Fletcher won the 29ers event at Weymouth.

And, just as in 2004, he was denied the open world title itself.

In the Topper, he was disqualified in the final open race and was eventually declared sixth.

But this time there were no technical problems and they were beaten only by yachtsmen who do nothing but sail for a living.

Seventeen-year-old Partridge, earmarked by the RYA for the 2012 Olympics, and Fletcher pitted themselves against the top sailors from North and South America and across Europe in the 100 strong fleet - the largest ever event in the 29ers category.

What is more they were only beaten to the overall gold medal by a full time professional helm and crew from Finland and Australia.

Going into the last race Partridge and Fletcher were two points behind the USA team. who were last year's bronze medalists and favourites for the silver medal this time.

Desperate for success they sailed a storming final race and won by a long distance and the USA team came in seventh thus moving the British pair up to silver.

The Worlds came back to back with the UK Nationals and International Open held at Hayling Island where many of the top over-seas teams competed.

Most used the event as a warm-up for the Worlds and Partridge and Fletcher found their form among the 90 boats and were beaten only by former Olympian Paul Brother-ton.

They finished second, keeping the Finn/Aussie pro pair, who were to beat them days later, in third place.

Again, they went head-to-head in the deciding race beating their nearest rivals by four places to move up from bronze position to silver.

Two weeks earlier Partridge and Fletcher also won silver at the European Championships, where they represented Team GBR in Denia, Spain.

The event followed the pair's triumph in the RYA British Youth Nationals and 29er Inlands - and in every other event they entered.

Partridge said: 'I've only been home for a few days and it is all still sinking in.

'I'm pleased, but already I'm moving on and having to think about the future.

'I have someone else to sail with and he's not very experienced in the boat so it will take a couple of months at least for him to get used it.

'The next World Championships are in January so we are cutting it fine if we want to do well.

'The other world title escaped me again, but I'll get there in the end.'

Fletcher, who is too old for youth events now, has moved on to other things and Partridge has been paired up with a new helm, James Ellis, from Plymouth.

Ellis is ranked number two nationally in the 420 youth class and together they will resume the 29ers campaign later in the year.

In the meantime Partridge is off to Cowes on a Sonar and has the RS200 Nationals at Exmouth later in the month.

The former Weaverham High School student will defend his World Youth title with Ellis in Argentina in January.

After that comes the National Youth Championships, which carries selection for the World Youth Olympics in Canada next year. As well as completing his A-levels of course!

After a five-week stint of competition and travelling, Partridge is now taking things easy at his Orchard Close home.