Sailingfast Team Riders

Ross Banham

What is your age?

What are you studying, or what did you study?
Business and Management at Portsmouth University (2;1)

What do you sail?

Where do you sail?
Started at Bewl Valley Sailing Club now based at Datchet and the Solent

Who introduced you to sailing?
Grandparents and Father

Ross Banham WASZP sailing at Lake Garda

Do you have a role model/inspirational person that you follow? If so, why do you find them inspirational?

Sir Ben Ainslie, Jimmy Spithill, Hannah Mills

The first sailing race I remember watching properly was the Finn medal race at the 2008 games where Ben won his 3rd Gold medal. I have recently taken note of a very interesting yet very true statement from his coach David Howlett; “Even when you are not sailing at your best, always be in a position to strike for gold”.

Spithill’s mind set, and mind games are unapparelled. Watching him keep fighting mentally with Oracle Team USA and come back from 7-0 down is the perfect example of this.

In the current era of sport, you must be more than an athlete and if a successful one like Hannah, use your success to influence and stand for something bigger than your achievements. Hannah’s passion against climate change, specifically single use plastic, is something that is important.


– Currently ranked #1 in Global Waszp rankings

– 2022 UK National Champion

– 2022 Gold Youth European Champion

– 2022 Silver European Open championships

– 2022 World Championships 7th

– 2022 Americas Championships 4th Place

– 2021 Irish Open National Champion

– 2021 Bronze UK National Championships


WASZP Class UK 2022 UK Nationals Weymouth WPNSA Photo: James Tomlinson

What would be your best advice or top tips for younger sailors or new sailors?

Enjoy your sailing and take every opportunity placed before you. It sounds very dilly dally me saying enjoy your sailing however when I look back on my youth sailing career, there were times where I needed to apricate how lucky I was. To be able to compete at the highest level around the world takes a monumental amount of dedication not just from you but your parents as well. Appreciate where you are in the moment and don’t waste it. There will be lots of opportunities placed before you and some you may not be so keen on however if they better you as a sailor or sailing career, don’t overlook it!

Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourselves. If you believe you can, you will. You have your entire sailing career ahead so don’t give up too soon if results don’t follow. It’s all about the long game!

Quickfire Questions

Tell us something about you that no one else knows

Before I started sailing, I was a Sabre Fencer (as in the sword fighting thing)

What’s your superpower?

Kindly gifted from my parents; Saying it how it is – Not always the best policy

What bit of sailing kit can you not live without? And why?

Time keeping device (SAILMON or Watch). Fundamental disaster if you don’t have that in racing.

What’s your ultimate dream?

To compete in at least one of what I regard as the five corner stones of sailing (The Olympics, Americas Cup, SailGP, The Ocean Race, Vendee Globe)

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