Former Sports Scholar Kieran Holmes-Martin 

Excitement for Exeter at the Sailing World Championships

Aarhus, Denmark played host to the 2018 Sailing World Championships from 30th July-12th August, where 1500 sailors from more than 100 countries took to the stage in a fight for World Championship honours. Held every four years the Sailing World Championships includes all 10 Olympic boat classes and is an important landmark in the sporting calendar looking ahead to Tokyo 2020.

With Sailing as one of the University of Exeter Performance sports and Exeter listed as a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) partner University, current University of Exeter students and graduates were well represented in Denmark. Sports Scholar Dan Budden and soon to be 3rd year BSc Economics and Finance student alongside sailing partner James Grummett raced in the 49er, alongside recent Exeter graduate Morgan Peach (BA Business and Management 2015-2018) with sailing partner and former University of Exeter TASS athlete Rhos Hawes.

Sophie Weguelin (BSc Exercise and Sport Sciences 2007-2010) and Sophie Ainsworth (BSc Exercise and Sport Sciences 2007-2010) continued their good form having taken European Championships bronze in Poland by once again winning the bronze medal in the 49er FX class despite the final race being disrupted by a capsize. In the process they ensure that Team GB will contest this class at Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Nick Thompson (BSc Exercise and Sport Sciences 2004-2008) represented Team GB in the laser class but wasn’t able to add to his previous four World Championship medals. In the final stages of her BSc Psychology with Sports Science degree Sports Scholar Kirstie Urwin also competed in the Nacra 17 foiling event with sailing partner Rupert White.

In the windsurfing events it was agonisingly close to the podium for Exeter alumni, former Sports Scholar and BUCS gold medallist Kieran Holmes-Martin (BEng Mechanical Engineering 2013-2017) who finished 4th in the RS X men in his best senior World Championships to date. Matt Barton (BSc Exercise and Sport Sciences 2014-2017) former Sports Scholar continued to build his international racing experience at senior level and also competed in the RS X men competition at the World’s. He now looks ahead to the European Championships in the next couple of weeks.

Reflecting on the success of current and former Sailing Sport Scholars involved, High Performance Manager (Sport) Charlotte Hale commented “We’ve had a strong tradition of attracting high level sailors and windsurfers to the University of Exeter for a number of years now and its really exciting to see a number of our current students and alumni competing on the World stage. Many of these are focusing on training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle and we wish them the very best of luck with any upcoming selections”.

In 2017-2018 the University of Exeter was ranked 2nd in the BUCS rankings with the Women’s Fleet Racing team taking BUCS Gold. University of Exeter performance sailors receive access to a comprehensive support services package including S&C, physiotherapy and athlete lifestyle support.

Date: 24 July 2018

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