DREAMS OF RIO - Page 2 of 2 - Boards Windsurfing

Windsurfing Magazine




Emerging Lights

Sam Sills, Kieran Martin, Joe Bennett, Connor Bainbridge, Ali Masters, Saskia Sills, Imogen Sills, Noelle Finch.

Remember those names. Their chance to sample Rio may still be yet to come, but with the trophy cabinets this lot have got between them, British windsurfing in both the men’s and women’s classes looks super exciting for at least the next decade.

The ‘Sills’ name has been a permanent fixture on the Youth and Junior results boards over recent years.

Firstly big brother Sam, now 21, picked up two BIC Techno World titles before twice being crowned RYA Youth National champion and representing the British Youth Sailing Team at the ISAF Youth Worlds.

Saskia Sills. Image credit RYA/Paul Wyeth.

Then his younger twin sisters began to exert their authority; Saskia enjoyed a stellar 2012, including winning the ISAF Youth Worlds title aged just 15, which earned her a nomination for the hugely prestigious ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, while Imogen was the 2013 EUROSAF Youth European champion. The girls were 18 in July.

Kieran Martin, 19, is another with ISAF Youth Worlds glory to his name, as well as 2010 Youth Olympics bronze, and 20-year-old Connor Bainbridge enjoyed a career high at the 2014 RS:X Europeans, finishing the highest placed Brit in ninth overall.

Connor Bainbridge. Image credit RYA/Paul Wyeth.

Finch (former U17 RS:X World and European champion) and Bennett (2012 EUROSAF Youth European Champion and 4th U21 2014 RSX Europeans), both 18, reinforce the assertion that Britain’s windsurfing talent pool is bubbling nicely.

Meanwhile 23-year-old Masters, another junior World champion who has been studying for an oceanography degree at Plymouth University, has the credentials and experience to enjoy a successful senior career.

Stephen Park, British Sailing Team Manager, said: “The strength and depth of the young windsurfers coming through the system is testament to the work of the coaches, support staff and sailors themselves at every rung on the pathway ladder.

“Having such intense competition for places amongst the squads drives the overall standard up so these guys should be the ones to watch for years to come.” 

For more information about the British Sailing Team visit www.rya.org.uk/britishsailingteam



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