A seafaring teenager from Bushey is "ecstatic" to have been chosen to represent the UK a major sailing tournament.

At 14 Tom Collyer is one of the youngest helms to have made the nation's team at the Cadet Class World Championships in Weymouth in August.

The competition will see him compete against more than 250 other sailors from around the world.

Tom trained throughout the winter and then took part in the selection series in April and May.

This involved 18 races spread over three events at Datchet Water, Weymouth and Stone on the East Coast. Tom finished 8th and the top ten boats make up the team.


Watford Observer:

Tom said: "I am ecstatic about having qualified to represent the country in the Cadet World Championships.

"It's taken me years of training and a lot of hard work: five or six years of learning how to sail and two years of the campaign towards this goal.

"I wasn't happy with my results at last year's National Championships and as a result of this I did not get in to the National Junior Squad which was hard to deal with.

"I trained hard over the winter (with some very early starts and long car journeys) and sorted out the weak points of my racing. My dad taught me how to sail while my mum provided much support on land. 

"Some very inspiring figures have, of course, been Olympians Ben Ainsley and Andrew (Bart) Simpson along with some local role models including the Commodore of Aldenham Sailing Club Barry Steele - former Head of Art at Queens' School."

The Cadet is the only double-handed racing dinghy that is sailed exclusively by junior sailors aged 17 and under.

Pritam Vekariaat Queens’ School said: "We are all at Queens' very proud of Tom and his brilliance achievement and wish him the best of luck this August."