Will Street

  • IFDS Worlds Halifax, Canada 15-24 August 2014

    At the pre event briefing the Race Officer warned that the forecast for the week was not good with the wind unusually blowing across the harbour rather than up or down it! The wind was shifty and unpredictable. The sea breeze often fought with the gradient wind. There was lots of weed about. The race officer abandoned 4 races when I was lying 6th (two when we were on the final downwind). I finished 6th in another but was Black Flagged (over the line within the last second before the start). The final race was the only one with steady winds from the sea! I had good speed and sailed well finishing 4th. I finished a very disappointing 20th overall but basically I didn’t sail well enough in the difficult conditions. The top 5 boats overall were the top 5 I expected before the event, so they managed ok.

    On reflection, I believe that I was capable of achieving my personal aim of finishing in the top eight, possibly even the top 5 and am really looking forward to the Open Worlds. In the mean time I will be focussing on continuing to improve my starting.

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  • Pre Worlds Halifax, Canada 9-11 August 2014

    I went into this event well prepared and sailing the best I have ever sailed. Preparations this year have been on getting my new boat going fast and reducing time/distance lost during tacking, gybing and mark rounding. I have also worked on my fitness, nutrition and hydration. Pre event training went well and I had great boat-speed. There were 18 entries. I was very pleased with my performance and I finished the 10 race series 3rd overall beating Heiko Kroeger, Bruce Millar and Matt Bugg.

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  • Open European Championships Sneek, Netherlands 28-4 July 2014

    This was the first Open European Championships for many years. 54 competitors attended the event which was held on a relatively small inland water in Friesland. I was using this event to get used to my new boat which I was racing for the first time ahead of the two world championships. It was excellent practice in shifty conditions on a trapezoidal course with a small beat to the finish (lots of mark roundings)! I really liked the new boat and identified some minor modifications to help overcome some boat handling errors. I finished 11th overall.

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  • Sail for Gold EUROSAF European Cup Event Weymouth, 1-6 June 2014

    Despite there being only 13 entries I generally did not make as good starts as I would like. The races were short which made recovery difficult. My speed was good but I struggled in the windier conditions and finished 6th overall. Great learning points from this event which I have worked on improving in my subsequent training.

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  • Delta Lloyd EUROSAF European Cup Event Medemblik Netherlands, 20-24 May

    This event is Open which means that able bodied and Paralympic sailors can compete. Also the Open class rules do not restrict the amount of lead in the keel, although the all up boat weight must be the same. This means that newer, lighter boats can carry more lead in the keel increasing their righting moment. My older boat just allows me to carry maximum lead for Paralympic events but I have no corrector weights so cannot increase the keel weight for Open events. This is a disadvantage in stronger winds but I have chosen to use my older boat as I am more familiar with it.

    There was a good entry of 23. On the first day the wind was light but increased to 14 knots for the end of the second race. I had a good day with a 3rd and 5th. The second day was very light and we had to wait until 5.30 pm to start our races. The wind was dying and got very fluky. I finished 13th and 11th. In the second race I got a favourable shift and could have rounded the last mark 2nd but it went back and I rounded 5th only to be passed down the run by boats on both sides who got some puffs!

    Unfortunately I fell out of my chair on the third day and strained muscles in my neck and upper back so could not complete in any more races so fished 20th overall. I was very pleased to get in a couple of good race results when the conditions were good.

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  • Hyeres ISAF World Cup Event Hyeres France, 18-25 April

    With entries limited by quota, this was going to be a tough regatta as 10 of the top 12 (or so) boats in the world were competing. There were 16 entries.

    There was more wind than in Palma, but my energy levels remained good throughout the week. Overall I finished 10th with consistent results, which was something I aimed to achieve. Again I was disappointed not to be able to get in any good individual race results. Big waves and stronger winds is an area where I need to make some improvements, we have some ideas - so work to do!

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  • Princess Sofia ISAF World Cup Event Palma, Majorca 29-5 April

    We had a Podium Potential squad camp in Palma three weeks before the regatta, so we decided to stay and get some two boat training in before the event. The weather was good and it was a great way to get in final preparations before the European event season kicks off. The biggest lesson was the different technique required in the rougher conditions compared to the flatter water of Portland Harbour.

    There were 16 entries. I was pleased to finish 5th overall but disappointed not to get into the top 3 in any races. One race was canned whilst I was leading into the first mark and I was first in another when my mainsheet got knotted and I could not sail the boat downwind!

    My results were consistent and I achieved my event objectives, good regatta.

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  • RYA National Ranker WPNSA, 19-20 October 2013

    This was the first of the Autumn RYA National Ranking Series. The wind was really patchy and shifty as it was coming off Portland at 12 to 20 knots. There were 12 entries, including two French boats. My starting was not so good and I had trouble with my starting watch which didn't help. We completed 4 races on Saturday, with Sunday blown off. I finished 5th overall, behind Helena, Megan and the two French boats. I need to find a good location on the boat to mount my starting watch, so it doesn't get turned off as I hit it against the inside of the boat!

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  • 2.4mR Open World Championships Poole, UK 6-14 September 2013

    Just one week after Kinsale I was off to the next event, the 2.4mR Open World Championships at Poole. There were 75 entries including both able bodied and Paralympic athletes. The conditions at Poole were likely to be shifty and tight on the restricted waters inside the harbour, not the most favourable for me! Before the start of the first race my boat was holed in a collision, the bow of another other boat came through the side of my hull, into the cockpit and hit my arm. Great work by the Team’s coaches to tape up the hole and I managed to complete the three races that day although my results were not so good. An overnight repair was completed and the fight back started in the morning. I found it difficult to hold my lane at the starts although generally had great speed in the remainder of each race and gained continuously throughout. I was very pleased that when I did get up with the leaders, I was quick! My best race results were 3rd, 10th and 13th and I finished 17th overall. The shifty winds were great conditions for practicing both my up and downwind sailing tactics. I used the lessons learnt in Ireland, plus some other tweaks identified from talking to some top sailors, to improve my upwind speed in the choppy conditions. I also think I have identified why I was not able to hold my lane at the starts and will test my ideas in training and at the Autumn National Rankers.

    I have learnt so much this year and particularly from these two world championships. I believe I am a better sailor now than before the Worlds started. I would really like to do them again, I am sure I would do even better!

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  • 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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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.

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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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