Will Street

  • 2.4mR IFDS World Championships Kinsale, Ireland 22-30 August 2013

    This was the most important event of the year for me and I arrived in good time. There were 45 entries which included all of the current contenders for the next Paralympics. On the first day I got in some good individual training in the waters just off Kinsale Yacht Club. The next two days we sailed out of the river and onto the racing area for some squad training. The first day was particularly useful in identifying tides and getting use to the waves. On the second day there was not much wind and we got towed back in!

    The wind was around 8 to 10 knots for the practice race. My start was not so good. I went the wrong side on the first beat as the wind bend I expected from the estuary mouth was not there! I also did not have my usual speed. Rounded the first mark about 25th and had a reasonable downwind and great leeward rounding. I used less backstay up the next beat. Got some shifts right and had great speed and rounded 8th which I held to the downwind finish.

    The first day of racing was cancelled due to lack of wind. Day two started with light winds which eventually swung and stabilized at 7 to 10 knots. In the first race I got a good start and came in to the first mark almost on the port layline. I was bow to bow with the leader at the first mark but had to duck him and another boat to round 3rd. Meg made a better rounding and passed me just after the mark although my downwind speed was good. I struggled for speed on the second and final upwind legs in the choppy conditions and finished 7th. Reasonable start in the second race but had a struggle to hold my lane and eventually had to tack off. I had great speed and got the shifts right to round 5th which I held downwind. On the next upwind I again struggled a bit for pace and went the wrong side of the beat and lost a few places but gained one downwind to finish 7th again. After the race I was talking to one of the Dutch sailors who said I was really quick but saw me struggling when it got choppy, he felt I needed to ease my main more in those conditions. In the past I have not been so quick on second beats and have put that down to tiredness but maybe it has been because the course gets much more choppy with all the fleet sailing up and downwind and the wake from the coach and spectator boats meaning I should have changed my settings. Another great learning point. I finished the day first GBR boat, sweet!

    Again no racing on day 3 due to lack of wind. Day 4 bought about 18 knots dropping to 14. After a poor start I managed to get clear wind up the first beat and recovered to round about 20th. I gained both down and upwind to finish 13th. Better start in the next race and rounded 5th. I eased my main and had good speed but went right as that paid for me on the first beat, but the shift went left and I dropped to 9th. The wind shifted right as I approached the downwind gate but I chose the right mark, to keep clear of other boats, and sail left up the beat expecting the wind to go back left. It did not and went more right and I dropped to 14th at the finish. Third race of the day, had a poor start but cleared my wind and had good speed to pull through to 12th by the finish.

    First race on the final day was 18 to 20 knots at the start. Great start but close to some top boats, however, I held my lane well which was really pleasing as I tend to struggle in stronger winds. I had a good beat and rounded 4th or 5th with Meg and Helena behind me. I made a poor leeward rounding and went right but did not have my setup quite right and the left paid so I droped back to 10th at the finish. On the last race, with a good discard, I decided to push the start and was going for the pin end, however, I got my timing wrong and started 40 seconds late! An incident with another boat at the windward mark caused me to do a 720 and I was 40th. I had great speed and made sure I had clear wind to pull through to 19th by the finish. I retired from the race after the finish due to slight damage caused to the other boat.

    My own target was to get into the top 15 and I finished 12th overall with no finishes below 14th. I was really pleased with the result, my consistency and the fact that I was very capable of finishing higher.

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2.4mR Sailor

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At the age of twelve, I was diagnosed with Freidriechs Ataxia, a degenerative genetic disorder which affects my nerves and muscle co-ordination. I have chosen not to research my condition as I would rather live for today and focus on the life I lead rather than dwell on what might be.

My passion is sailing and my aim is to win the World Championships and when sailing regains its Paralympic status, a Gold Medal.

A Paralympic sailing campaign is expensive and can only be sucessful with help and support from others. I am extremely grateful to those who are helping me so please check out 'Sponsors & Links'. If you think you can offer help or support to my campaign then please contact me or kindly make a donation through the link below.

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NEXT EVENTS

These are the next events that I will be competing in. In the meantime I will be training at WPNSA at Portland.

Para World Sailing Championships Sheboygan USA, 16-22 September

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