Will Street

  • Open Europeans Bordeaux France, 2-10 July 2016

    This event was for able bodied and disabled sailors with 43 entries. The majority of the athletes selected for this year’s Paralympics were not competing and so it was an opportunity for me to have a more relaxed fun event, although I still had things I wanted to work on and achieve.

    Firstly the event would give me the opportunity to improve my starting, check out my speed in different conditions and hopefully restore some of my confidence!

    On the first day we had 5 starts and I was able to win the pin end on each start, even impressed myself! My starts were good all week.

    I did get a couple of penalties early on in the week, which cost me a lot of places. I also found how critical it was to position myself early on the downwind so as to be able the take the correct gate buoy. By getting this wrong in a couple of races I lost loads of places. I have worked out the factors which make this decision more critical for the future such as; shift angle, shift duration and distance between the leeward gate buoys.

    I also took this opportunity to test two different jib designs on the reasonably flat but fresh water of the lake. After the first two days I swapped to a different design which proved better for these conditions. I have been working on improving my lighter wind speed upwind and my downwind speed in all conditions. The setup changes we have made all worked really well and I am confident I have made performance gains in these areas.

    On the last day the wind was slightly more at around 10 to 12 knots, with a short phase shift pattern, which I like. I was out early and confident of having a good day. With three races I was keen to get in some good results and got two seconds in the first two races. This took me to 5th overall and another good result in the last race would enable me to consolidate it. Unfortunately I lost my watch on the first day and had been using my velocitek for the countdown. This worked really well but due to my poor coordination I needed advance warning of the 5 minute signal so I could position my fingers on the button. My coach was a great help here all week, by counting down to the gun on each start. Unfortunately my coach went AWOL during the last start sequence and I did not get the start time right. In my frustration I didn’t have the presence of mind to work out an alternative process and was slightly late at the start and could not take the first shift. I had to battle through the fleet to get a 14th by the end!

    This was a really enjoyable event. I finished 7th overall and was very pleased with my performance and the lessons learnt. Results

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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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