“I am a 15 year old whose passion in life is sailing.
I had my first taste of sailing about 3 years ago on a Scout summer camp on the Isle of Wight. I thoroughly enjoyed it but wanted to do more and be better so I persuaded my parents to sign me up for an RYA Stage 1 & 2 course at Southampton Water Activity Centre. I loved it despite the cold October weather.
Six months later I decided that I wanted another crack at sailing so signed up to do my Stage 3. I was hooked and joined Hill Head Sailing Club in August 2013 where I took part in dinghy week (a week of light hearted racing). I had a great week and learnt lots, however, I was frustrated at how bad I was! I realised that to be able to sail more and improve I needed a boat of my own so I saved up and with a little bit help from my family bought a Topper. Following this I joined the local Topper Squad, JETS.
Over the winter of 2013-2014 I worked hard to improve my boat speed and handling. I took part in my first national event in spring 2014, the Topper Winter Regatta at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA). Although I didn’t do very well it really wetted my appetite and inspired me to keep training hard so that one day I would be the one standing on the podium.
Keen to be more competitive, I took part in almost every National Series event during 2015 as well as training most weekends when I wasn’t competing. My results improved, highlights included finishing 13th out of 153 at the Inland Championships and 25th out of 189 at the National Championships (and winning the highest placed non squad sailor award). Based on my performance I was offered a place in the RYA UK Junior Intermediate Topper Squad which has given me access to top quality coaching. My results have continued to improve, finishing 10th out of 155 at the 2016 WPNSA Winter Regatta and 3rd in a South Coast Traveller event. I also enjoy the technical side of sailing so, unlike most people I enjoy boat maintenance.
When I’m not on the water I spend a lot of my time on my road bike or running to improve my fitness. I have two local paper rounds to help finance my sailing – as you can imagine this doesn’t go very far!”