Rory McKinna Sailing

What a sailing season!

With restrictions eased in 2021, sailing came back with a vengeance and most competitions went ahead. The biggest difference for me this year was that I was able to take part in all the regattas of the UK Hansa Traveller Trophy, which I have never done before. It was great to be racing against other Hansa 303s on a regular basis and the fierce competition put everyone at the top of their game. A five-month-long match of tug of war ensued between myself and the reigning champion Mike Everitt, with each of us getting first, second, first, second, first… Eventually, we were sitting on equal points with one regatta to go! But this year, I managed to claim the final victory, coming 1st on the day and 1st overall. The 6000+ miles travelled were worth it!

The UK Hansa Championships also went ahead this year at Rutland Water and it was great to see so many sailors compete. Again, competition was fierce, with the winner of each race continuously changing. Serious tactics had to be employed and I managed to come out on top and reclaim the trophy in 1st place overall!

To round off the season, I headed to Sicily for the Hansa World Championships. It was great to see all the teams from around the world again and everyone was raring to get on the water in a big fleet of boats. And big it was, with 69 boats in my class alone! There were some challenging conditions, with too little wind, too much wind and on one occasion, thunder and lightning engulfed us! Despite this, many good races were to be had and the competition ended with me claiming two podium positions: 3rd Hansa World Championships 303 Singles class and 2nd Para World Sailing 303 Singles Men’s class!

I went to the World Championships with the aim of getting in the top 10 but I never could have imagined a podium position, let alone two! The silver medal also has the power to get you upgraded to first class on the Avanti train home from London!

With the season finished and me off to university, the preparation begins for next year, whatever it may have instore.

None of this would be possible without my sponsor, QTS, and all the support from Clyde Cruising Club, RYA Scotland, Scottish Disability Sport, Sport Scotland and Ayrshire Sportsability.