Scotland's Rory McKinna recently attended his first World Championships in Palermo, gaining some medals in the process and making him a very happy sailor.
"I've never been so happy!" commented Rory after winning a 3rd in the Hansa World Championship 303 Singles class and a 2nd in the Para World Sailing Hansa 303 Men’s class. "I went to the worlds with the aim of being in the top 10 but I never thought I would get a podium position. A brilliantly end to a great sailing season. Now the work begins for next year!"
19 year old Rory has been sailing the Hansa over the past 5 years, building up his experience and confidence in the class. Rory has continued to grow support for his sailing from the Clyde Cruising Club Dinghy Section, Scottish Disability Sport and now has attracted commercial sponsors like the QTS Group. This summer he went on to win the UK Hansa Class championships at Rutland Sailing Club. Of course we also recognise his mother Angela has been literally the driving force in making sure the logistics behind Rory's sailing career all come together.
The event sailing off the Sicilian town of Palermo has a real mix of autumnal weather with thunderstorms ,no wind, too much wind, all while the race management kept looking for the perfect race in imperfect conditions.
After measurement and a cancelled practice race, Rory started the first day of the championship with a 15th then a 2nd in a 60 boat fleet. The next day Rory went out and won race 3, really racing his game, although in race 4 his touching of the windward mark, captured by the event photographer, led to the discarded 23rd. The mixed weather continued to plague the fleet so when initial race 5 took place Rory was well behind the leaders, but the wind faded and the committee abandoned the attempt of a race. The restarted race found Rory in a much better position finishing 4th and leaving him 3rd overall in the class.
Due to nature of the class where all abilities and ages compete within the class championships Rory therefore achieved a 2nd in the Para World Sailing Hansa Class. A massive congratulations from all the team hear at RYA Scotland who continue to be inspired by his journey.
Full details and results can be found here.