A talented Laser Radial sailor from the Isle of Wight is in Portugal training with a specialist team of coaches who are helping him towards his goal of representing Great Britain.
Arthur Farley, is spending the summer with his coaches at Viana Sailing who have been working with him for the past year, supported by Wightlink through the Isle of Wight Council’s Talented Athlete Scheme.
Just three days before lockdown started, Arthur aged just 16, secured first place overall, first U19 and first U17 at the second World and European Qualifier event of the year, meaning he is one of the youngest sailors ever to win a qualifier event.
Arthur sailed to victory in a fleet of more than 50 sailors which included adults and the GBR Youth Squad.
All being well, Arthur’s competitive sailing calendar will resume in late August for the UK Nationals followed by Kiel Week in in Germany in September and the European Championships in France in October, all of which were rescheduled due to Covid-19.
Arthur said: “Luckily another sailor came to train with me just before lockdown and ended up staying with our family throughout. Although unable to get on the water, we worked on strength and stamina training following advice of our coaches.
“My parents recently fitted a gym, so we made use of that along with running and cycling as part of our daily exercise program. Having a training partner definitely added a competitive edge!
“It is hard being away from my family, but I know this is a really brilliant opportunity for me to improve my skills, helping me to become an Olympic sailor one day.”
Tina and Jon Farley, Arthur’s parents, said: “It is certainly quiet at home without Arthur, he takes his sailing very seriously and we’re doing what we can to support him to achieve his dreams. We’d like to thank Wightlink, Goodall roofing and Brading Haven Yacht Club for their sponsorship and encouragement. Sailing is such an expensive sport, we really appreciate their help.”
Stuart James, Wightlink’s Director of Marketing and Innovation said: “Arthur is clearly a very determined young man with his mind firmly focused on achieving his goals. We are really proud to support the Island’s Talented Athlete scheme which helps athletes like Arthur by providing assistance with cross-Solent travel. We know those competing at high levels of sport often need to travel off the Island for training and events. We wish Arthur the best of luck for his training camp and look forward to seeing him in action when events resume.”