Sailor White­ley wins bronze in the worlds

Bangor Mail - - SPORT -

RIS­ING sail­ing tal­ent Daniel White­ley held com­po­sure to take un­der-21 Laser World Cham­pi­onship bronze in Nieuw­poort, Bel­gium re­cently.

The Bri­tish Sail­ing Team Podium Po­ten­tial Path­way sailor from Ban­gor showed his in­ten­tions on day one, tak­ing a bul­let and two sixths to leave put him firmly in the mix.

A fur­ther bul­let and a string of top10 re­sults saw the 19-year-old hold his nerve to fin­ish the event third in the 102-strong fleet.

Hav­ing only tran­si­tioned from the Ra­dial ear­lier this year, the young sailor who won the RYA Youth Na­tion­als in April was thrilled at a strong in­ter­na­tional per­for­mance in the Olympic Laser class.

“It feels re­ally good, al­though it wasn’t some­thing I was ex­pect­ing,” he said.

“I’ve had quite a hard build-up mov­ing out of the Ra­dial only six months ago, so to medal shows the hard work has paid off.

“We had such a big mix of con­di­tions and some re­ally strong tide, so the big­gest chal­lenge was to get off the start line clear. The shifts were hard and it was tricky to get to the front of the fleet, but some­how I man­aged to do a de­cent job all week and fin­ished pretty well.”

Rev­el­ling in the mid­week stronger breeze gave White­ley a con­fi­dence boost to carry for­ward to the busi­ness end of the event.

“I re­ally en­joyed the re­ally windy third day. Pre­vi­ously I haven’t been that strong as I’ve been quite light, but I turned out to be quick so it was a real high­light man­ag­ing to get around the course fast, scor­ing a 3, 1,” he said.

Coach James Gray com­mented on White­ley’s ex­cel­lent per­for­mance:

He said: “He was the most con­sis­tent sailors up­wind and this gave him the best chance of post­ing good scores. Joel Ro­driguez Perez (ESP) and Jonatan Vad­nai (HUN) were very strong as we have seen over the past few years and thor­oughly de­served to be tak­ing the top two spots, just be­ing Photo: Bri­tish Sail­ing Team/James Gray that lit­tle bit bet­ter over the race course.

“Most im­pres­sively for me has been Dan’s abil­ity to turn around a rel­a­tively slow start to the sea­son ear­lier this year. He has in­cred­i­ble self-be­lief and his hard work in the last few months re­ally paid off.

White­ley, and team-mates Sam Wha­ley and Jack Cook­son, now turn their fo­cus to the Laser Worlds in Split, Croa­tia in Septem­ber as they look to test their met­tle against the se­nior fleet.

For all the lat­est news from the Bri­tish Sail­ing Team, fol­low www.british­sail­ingteam.com, on Face­book, on Twit­ter @Bri­tishSail­ing and on In­sta­gram @Bri­tishSail­ing.

Ban­gor sailor Daniel White­ley (cen­tre) with Sam Wha­ley and Jack Cook­son

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