Rory McKinna travelled out to the Para Sailing World Championships in Spain last month and continues to take his sailing further afield in the Hansa 303 class. Last year Rory took part in his first World Championships and this year he has continued to learn new skills from sea venues and moved into the top ten in the world for the class.
We caught up with Rory on his return and asked how it all went. “Overall the event was brilliant. The conditions were excellent, with continuous sunshine (I’ve never sailed a whole competition in shorts before!) and the wind was pretty constant, with very few changes in speed or direction. It was great to see everyone and catch up. I was very happy with my 9th place, although I believe I could have done better but if it had not been for a catastrophic charter boat failure where the steering snapped in two which caused me to drop from 4th to 13th during that race and missing the next while the boat was fixed.”
“The highlight of the event for me was achieving my goal of getting into the top ten, especially after missing out on it in Sheboygan last year. That was my main goal for the event, so goal achieved!”
Following on from the Eurosaf European Championship on Lake Traunsee, Austria in May, Rory noticed a major increase in the standard of competition and therefore took every opportunity he could get on the water once he got home, in preparation for the worlds. This included joining Largs Sailing Club and joining in the weekly racing at a sea venue.
“There are many people I would like to thank at the event, especially Massimo Dinghe of World Sailing and all the other organisers for a brilliantly run event.”
“My next big competition is the Hansa Nationals down in Rutland. Then it’s the Dutch Hansa Nationals near Amsterdam which I was invited to by the Dutch team at the Worlds. Beyond that it’s the Hansa European in Portugal. I’ve also been invited to sail with the Sailability group in Hong Kong in December, so that is also a possibility. It’s amazing to where sailing can take you, even in a small boat!”
Another group of competitive sailors looking towards their next challenge is the Special Olympic Sailing Team with their team from Able 2 Sail preparing for the next round of events as part of the build up to the World Games following their success in Abu Dhabi.
RYA Sailability co-ordinator David Hill has also been working with Able 2 Sail with a team aimings to have 5 pairs for the Special Olympic GB event in Liverpool 2021 and then the 2023 World Games in Berlin.
As part of their fundraising they will be mounting a Three Lighthouse Challenge in September 2020, with coaches, unified partners and sailors from the Special Olympic Sailing Team sailing or cycling from Mull or Galloway past Cape Wrath and onwards Dunnet Head. The cycle alone is over 1050 kilometres with 12,500 metre of vertical ascent. We wish them every success in their exciting plans.
Clyde Muirsheil also hosted the Wheels 2 Water event at the start of August in association with Scottish Disability Sport.
Liza Linton of RYA Scotland said, “It’s great to be involved for a fourth year alongside a number of other governing bodies in promoting the opportunities available across sailing, canoeing and cycling activities. Over 35 families went afloat on Castle Semple Loch during the day, in some lovely conditions too.”
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