Will Taylor goes from beginner to RS Tera world champion in 2 years
During 2011 Will Taylor, an Alton Water junior member and regular dinghy racer at Alton Water, became RS Tera Pro world champion. He managed this achievement in just 2 years. Read on to hear about his journey to achieving this remarkable success.
I got an RS Tera and did a training event at Ardleigh with friends. Great fun even though it was very windy, unfortunately I got hooked out of my boat going round a leeward mark.
I went to an RS Tera training event at Dabchicks. It gave me real confidence going into the Nationals.
First big event -the Nationals, at Dabchicks Sailing Club in West Mersea. I did very well coming 3rd and winning a race. I got into the National Squad from my performance at the Nationals.
Lots of wind at all events, it seemed like the coach would send us out in any weather. It was rather scary for me. I was gradually getting more confidence even if it was scary. I made loads of new friends. The clubs we visited for winter training were Bough Beech, Ardleigh, Draycote Water, Dover and Netley.
Squad Training at Ardleigh
2009/10 Tera Squad at Draycote Water
I went to quite a few open meetings and won a few so going into the Nationals I was on a massive high. We visited lots of new clubs and had different conditions at all of them. The events I went to were Draycote, Sutton Bingham and Burnham. I won the last two.
Close racing at Sutton Bingham
At the Nationals at Netley, near Southampton, I was black flagged which was a new experience. The weather was very light and I was one of the biggest sailors. I came 7th overall in my last event in Sports. Also had a big surprise when I saw a big box with 'Taylor' written on it. It was my new boat, with a nice new pro sail. First event in the Pro was at Waveney and Oulton Broad. I came 3rd losing to the two who were 2nd and 3rd at the Worlds. So was very pleased.
Nationals at Netley near Southampton
A breezy event at Waveney and Oulton Broad
I did my first big event in the Pro's which was the Inlands at Rutland Water. Many of the people from the Worlds were there. Again it was quite windy. I was very happy at the end of the first day as I won the last race. In the end I came 2nd beating the World Champion and others who did well at the Worlds, also Aaron Holman (the Oppie Inland Champion at the time - he has since won the Oppie Nationals). I got selected for winter training again but this time in the Pro squad.
Saw my friends from last year and the same coach. We had a new assistant coach and for the first training weekend we had Hannah Mills which was amazing (Hannah is the British Olympic helm in the 470). The clubs we went to were Datchet, Alton Water, Bartley, Netley and Hayling Island.
The 2010/11 squad at Datchet Water SC
Again I was going round the country doing open events, many in the local area. I was winning most, so again going into the Nationals on a high. The events I went to were Holowell, Aldeburgh and Waveney and Oulton Broad. At Waveney and Oulton Broad I was lucky enough to win a brand new sail just in time for the summer championships!
Waveney - this time less wind
I came 2nd at the Nationals after a very hard fought battle against the winner. I led the Event on the Saturday night by 1 point but it slipped away from me on the Sunday.
Then it was off to the Worlds in Denmark. It was a long drive out there but great to see all my Tera friends on arrival and also our Coach. Some had gone out early to do a training camp ahead of the event proper. The day of the practice race there was no wind at all and we drifted around for a couple of hours before coming ashore.
On the first day we had three races. In the second race lots of the fleet went to the wrong windward mark due to a big wind shift. I was one of only 6 to sail the proper course. Nice to think that most of the fleet had now got their first discard! In the third race the top Italian got spotted by the Jury hitting the top mark and had to retire after the race. He now had his two discards for the series putting lots of pressure on him. My results for the day were 1,1,2.
Day two saw more consolidation for me with 1, 3, 1. In one race I managed to get away and win by 2mins 45secs. It seemed that I had good boat speed such that even if I didn't get good starts I was able to sail through the fleet. We had computer trackers on every boat and the race marks so the parents were watching our every move on their laptops ashore and knew exactly where any mistakes had been made.
Day three was a day of further consolidation - 1, 1, 1 meant I wrapped up the event with a day to spare. Nice to take the pressure off! Whilst the first three days of racing had be rather nice and sunny with a mixture of light to moderate winds the last day was wet, cold and windy. The Italians seemed to prefer this and I got two 3rds.
At the conclusion of the event we had a presentation much like they do at the Olympics complete with flags and National Anthems which were rather cool.
Holding the worlds trophy aloft.
Next step is to move on to sailing an RS Feva with my mate Jonny who also sailed Teras with me. Many of our Tera friends are also progressing to Fevas so we look forward to seeing them at the various regattas and training as our sailing careers progress.