FAMILY and friends will mourn the loss of a teenage sailing star at her funeral today.

Talented Jess Eales, of Pennington, was found dead in woodland just a day after celebrating her 17th birthday.

In April she won a gold medal at the Royal Yachting Association youth national championships, and only weeks before her death she represented Britain at the ISAF youth sailing world championships in Portugal.

Jess’s mum Annette Eales said: “She had a wonderful time in Portugal – she said it was the best week of her life.

“She was never pressured with sailing, it was always what she wanted to do.”

Her funeral will be held at St Thomas’ Church, Lymington, before a private service at Hinton Park woodland burial site near Christchurch.