World Sailing Youth Match Racing Quest

Ben Tylecote's inspiring journey to the Youth Match Racing Worlds down under
15 Nov 23
Youth match racing team sailing

Ben Tylecote, a rising star in match racing, has secured his first time spot at next month’s World Sailing Youth Match Racing World Championships in Sydney (9-15 December 2023).

Despite beginning his match racing journey just a couple of years ago, Ben has quickly risen to the challenge, securing victory at the  RYA Harken Youth Match Racing Championship and finishing on top of the podium at the EUROSAF Match Racing Youth European Championships in May.

Setting his own course

Ben’s sailing journey faced a setback seven years ago when he had to withdraw from the Open Bic Worlds due to a cancer diagnosis, which led to the removal of his right eye. 

Reflecting on his journey, Rutland Sailing Club’s Ben said: “I appreciate every time I go on the water. When I was ill, sailing was my only escape and it remains a refuge to this day. I love sailing any type of boat, in any type of weather, and am happy in a group or on my own.” 

Offering advice to fellow sailors facing adversity, he adds: “Don’t worry about missing things; you can miss a few months, even years, and still get back to where you want to be. As many a coach has said, ‘don’t worry about the things you can’t control – make the most of what you can do and move on’.”

Finding funding 

Securing funding to get to the Australian championship presented a significant hurdle for the all-student team. Nevertheless, they've actively engaged in fundraising efforts and received backing from a variety of sources, including the RYA, along with advice and logistical support. 

Ben expressed his appreciation, stating: “We've been fortunate to receive support from diverse sources, including businesses, many amazing friends and club members, and our GoFundMe page, coupled with assistance from the RYA.” 

Team spirit

Anticipating the World Sailing Youth Match Racing Worlds, being held at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Ben looks forward to racing against nine other countries with his team, brother Jamie Tylecote, Freya Pembery, Terry Hacker and Finn Morris, to navigate the challenges of the Australian waters.

Ben expressed: “In match racing everything can really tick at an event or sometimes things can fall apart a little bit and that can cost you! I want to execute the things I have been learning and I believe in the strength of our team.” 

RYA Keelboat Manager Richard Moxey said: “It’s brilliant to see Ben racing to such success in Europe. He’ll be facing tough competition in Sydney, but as he’s proved he is a determined young man, and no stranger to adversity. I’ll be cheering him on from the UK!” 

Racing will get underway from 9 December. Follow the action via the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

Start your journey

Find out more about keelboat racing and how to get started, or pick up one of our racing books