posted on August 30, 2019
Jonny Fullerton caught up with Will Morris, an inspirational young sailor who lives in Whitwell on the Isle of Wight in the UK.
16 year old Will has been juggling sitting his GCSE exams with sailing this season. He is co-owner of a fairly old Flying Fifteen keelboat and is in training for the Blind Sailing World Championships to be held at Kingston Yacht Club, Ontario, Canada from 1 - 8 September.
Will explains: “My usual crew is Liam, we have been co-owners of the Flying Fifteen for about 3 months. Liam is visually impaired, but is a blooming good sailor!”
Will has volunteered as a coach and sighted tactician for over two years with Blind Sailing, spending weekends and school holidays working with experienced and novice sailors with visual impairments. He is a very familiar face around the Island sailing clubs and regularly competes in various local and national keelboat events. This will be his first time taking part in the World Championships.
JF: “What type of volunteer work do you do with Blind Sailing?”
WM: “Coaching, training and as a tactician”
JF: “I understand you are sailing at the Blind Sailing World Championships as an able bodied crew?”
WM: “Yes that's correct! The regatta is to be held at Kingston Yacht Club, Ontario, Canada from the 1st to the 8th of September. I am crewing for a boat in the B1 fleet, with Sally steering and Mark on the mainsheet, with Collin and myself as sighted crew members.”
Back in the UK Will expands on sailing in the Solent:
JF: “Why did you choose to sail in the Flying Fifteen class?”
WM: “We chose the F15 because it is a cracking boat, good fun and there is a good fleet at our club (Cowes Corinthian YC) with good racing most of the year round!
The F15 is a very versatile boat, we race both against yachts and dinghies on different days. It has a proper spinnaker and the keel gives you the added bit of security”
JF: “How long have you been sailing the F15?”
WM: “I have been sailing a fifteen for about 3 years now, two years crewing and now we have got our own boat. We race the F15 every Thursday night (the series we are currently leading!), and most weekends, hoping to do more next year including the Travellers Series etc!”
JF: “Tell me about any other sailing goals you have for the future?”
WM: “My main goals are to have at least 1 National Championship title under my belt, a top 10 in a worlds fleet, to do the Fastnet, Caribbean 600, Middle Sea Race and the Sydney Hobart, (quite a list!), but mainly to have fun on the water!”
JF: “Many thanks and good luck with all your sailing adventures”
WM: “Many thanks”
by Jonny Fullerton of Regatta Services
All photos are c Will Morris