Will Street

  • 2.4mR Inland and National Championships Rutland, 21-23 August

    With just a few days rest I was off to Rutland for the Inland Championships and an opportunity to work on my starting. The first day went well although I faded over the next couple of days as tiredness set in. I finished 4th out of 21 and exhausted!

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  • 2.4mR Open Worlds Rauma Finland, 8-15 August

    Returning to training in my 2.4mR, after sailing the SKUD, I found that I had lost both speed and height. It took two weeks of two boat training, in Weymouth, until I got my technique right and I regained that advantage. Training then went well in the medium wind range, although unfortunately we did not have an opportunity to work on my lighter wind performance, which I had identified as a weakness when we first fitted the jib boom.

    The Worlds were in a very nice location in Rauma, Finland and there was a large entry of 102 boats. I had one days training in ideal conditions for me and this confirmed that my up and downwind speed was exceptional!

    The practice race was not so good. The wind was much lighter and I used a new mainsail. On the first race day we had similar wind conditions and my speed was again slow. I really struggled to get away at the starts and to make any progress during the race resulting in 56, 29 and a DNF. The wind was stronger on the second day. I also went back to my old mainsail and although I again struggled to get away at the starts my speed was good and I recovered to get some reasonable results of 10, 9, and 8. On day 3 the wind was similar but with very big windshifts. I pulled through the fleet in the first race to get to 8th but infringed Meg on the line and finished 15th after completing my penalty and re-crossing the line. In the next two races I got on the wrong side of huge shifts on the first beat and the same thing happened in the final two races on the last day, although I did get through to finish 10th in one of them. I finished 18th overall. Top 20% of the fleet and great speed in the medium wind stengths. I was disappointed with my starting, which limited my opportunity to get to where I wanted on the race course and my light wind speed. Two areas to work on before the IFDS Worlds in November.

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  • Campaign Update

    At the beginning of 2015 the International Paralympic Committee announced that Sailing would not be included in the 2020 Paralympics. This was a severe blow for the sport of disabled sailing and sailing in general. It was hoped that the sports governing body, ISAF, could persuade the IPC to reverse its decision. This has not been possible. It is a very disappointing decision for all Paralympic sailors, including myself, as in reality all my training and efforts were focused on achieving my ultimate goal at the 2020 Paralympics.

    In May Helena Lucas was selected for the single GBR 2.4mR place at the 2016 Paralympics. Helena is the current Paralympic Champion and is in a good position to retain that title and I wish her good luck in Rio.

    No GBR selection decisions had been made in the other two Paralympic classes and so, with the backing of the British Sailing Team, I teamed up with Megan Pascoe in a SKUD 18. The plan was for us to sail in three events and then assess our options. We competed at Garda, Medemblik and Weymouth in chartered SKUD 18s and found ourselves on a very steep learning curve. By Weymouth we were very pleased with our progress and felt that, with our own boat and a few more months training, we could challenge the best in the world. Time was against us though and the British Sailing Team decided that they were not prepared to fund a second SKUD and so that experience ended for us in June.

    Since then I have returned to training hard in my 2.4mR preparing for the Open Worlds in August and the IFDS Disabled Worlds in December. For now my focus will be on winning the Open and IFDS Worlds in the coming years although, with no current Paralympic status, lack of funding is likely to increase that challenge.

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  • Weymouth and Portland World Cup, 10-14 June 2015

    Unfortunately there were only 4 SKUD entries. Alex and Niki and the Italians, ranked 1 and 3 in the world, so a good opportunity to continue to learn and measure our progress.

    Our upwind speed was better than the week before and we rounded the windward mark within 6 boats lengths of the top two boats in all races. Considering our sails were not so good and the boat not optimised, this was pretty encouraging. On the last day we beat the Italians in one race and should have in the next but a communication error led me to hit the windward mark!

    After the event we were told that the team was not prepared to fund a second SKUD for 2016 and so that experience is now over. So it’s back to the 2.4mR for me.

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  • Delta Lloyd EUROSAF Regatta Medemblik, Netherlands, 24-30 May 2015

    This SKUD was more sorted, although had not been raced hard or to a high level. We managed to get several days training in before the event. All the top boats in the world were competing including two Australian boats that did not go to Garda. Despite this being a windy event our speed was much better. We could just about hang in there with some of the better boats. Overall we finished 8th out of 15. A good improvement.

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  • RYA Olympic Classes Spring Series 3 WPNSA, 16-17 May 2015

    Although Helena wasn’t there and Megan could only sail the final day, this was an event I wanted to win. There were 11 2.4mR entries including three of the best UK able bodied sailors. I sailed very well with first day race scores of 2, 1, 1, 1, 1 but was disappointed my starting was not so good on the final day and I only really challenged Megan in the final race. I did win overall, so was very pleased.

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  • Garda Trentino EUROSAF Olympic Week , Italy, 6-10 May 2015

    The boat we had chartered was not the best and not really race prepared. The sails were well used, the helmsman’s seat was not canting and the boat had a couple of dings in the hull. To some extent this was good. It meant we had to find out lots of basic settings.

    We had just one days training and then straight into the racing. It was pretty much the first time I had sailed with someone else and used a spinnaker, so there was much to learn. We lacked boat speed upwind but were soon quite quick downwind. We had some gear failure and improvements to make on the boat so many late nights. Over the week we generally improved our race results finishing with a 5th and 3rd in the lighter winds. We were 9th overall out of 11.

    Just two days at home then we went to Rutland to receive 3 days training in how to sail and look after the UK SKUD that we had chartered for Medemblik and Weymouth. Then it was the ranker at Weymouth, in my 2.4mR and then straight off to Medemblik!

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  • ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres, France, 20-26 April 2015

    My confidence was high after Palma and I was looking forward to racing all the top 10 boats in the world, bar maybe one who wasn’t there. It was a shifty and difficult week but I felt I was sailing really well. In the first race of day 2, I lead at the windward mark and extended all race to have a very comfortable lead. Unfortunately the race committee had changed the course and I missed the extra dog leg mark for the finish! Lesson learnt to always check the course on the committee boat! With my discard gone I made a split second decision on the final day which resulted in me getting a penalty and a 16th place. Even with this and if I had won the race I should have, I would have finished 4th overall and beaten both Helena and Megan. Real progress!

    Whilst in Hyeres Megan asked me if I wanted to try a SKUD with her. With the uncertainty of 2020 this seemed a good opportunity for me to have a shot at 2016 and to increase my learning and experience in a new class. Within a day it was agreed that we would team up and do 3 events, then decide if we wanted to carry on and if the ‘team’ wanted us to. The team wanted us to sail at Garda and so it was just a week later that we arrived there looking for our chartered Polish SKUD.

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  • Princess Sofia EUROSAF Palma, Mallorca, 1-4 April 2015

    Finally I had the jib boom fitted to my boat which is basically self tacking and replaces the whisker pole downwind making it much easier for me to sail and hopefully reduce the time I lose pulling all those ropes. We completed some development of the system over the winter but a months training in Palma ahead of the event was critical to getting the boat and me, up to speed with this major change. I was lucky to be invited to join Bjørnar Erikstad and Helena Lucas for two weeks training in March. This was an excellent opportunity for me to accelerate my learning of how to get the best out of the jib boom. I learnt so much from these two and from Bjørnar’s coach Jobcob Haug. Initially my boat speed was slightly down, however, I was able to work on improving it both up and downwind and made gains each day.

    I did an extra weeks training, on my own, as the previous two weeks dad was again out in a RIB. We worked on starting and mark rounding, which I managed to improve ahead of the event and then did a few days training with Meg and Rob.

    The event went well for me and I got my first major race win and finished 4th overall. The jib boom was working well and has greatly reduced the number of boat handling errors I previously used to have, due to my poor co-ordination. It was great being able to ‘race’ other boats and be able to tack and gybe when I wanted to! My speed and decision making was pretty good. I believe more experience racing at the front of the fleet will further improve my performance.

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  • Open Worlds Toronto, Canada 26-3 October 2014

    I was disappointed with my overall finish of 12th out of 35 but once again there were many positives and I learnt a lot. I used a Velocitek for the first time and I found this a great help, my starting was generally very good. My upwind boat speed was again great, especially in the flatter water. I have several things to work on over the winter including some boat modifications which should greatly reduce my boat handling errors. Busy winter ahead and I can’t wait for Palma next year.

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2.4mR Sailor

Will Profile 2.4crop

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ABOUT THIS WEBSITE

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.

Please follow my progress through regular updates on this page and more frequent posts on Facebook and Twitter (links below).

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I would like to sincerely thank my sponsors without whose help I would not have the possibility to achieve the level of success that I aspire to.

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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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