Sailingfast Team Riders

Sam Whaley

What is your age?
I’m Sam Whaley and I am now (a hopefully wise) 26 years old.

What are you studying, or what did you study?
I actually left school and did an apprenticeship at Microsoft instead of university, so I’m a bit techy.

What do you sail?
I sail the ILCA and the WASZP mainly, but I do jump into lots of other classes when the opportunity arises. Currently ranked 3rd in the ILCA world rankings and I finished 2nd at the WASZP Worlds last year.

Where do you sail?
Swanage is my home club but I now live in Weymouth (where the British Sailing Team base is), so most of my sailing is out of WPNSA.

Who introduced you to sailing?
My Dad/grandparents were pretty influential on this one – even if I really hated sailing to begin with!

photo James Thomlinson. WASZP Games 2022 Lake Garda Podium

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

I’ve always set myself a target and the thought of that excites me and pushes me on, so role models
I find tricky. I admire what some people have achieved and try to apply some of their learning into
my situations but I wouldn’t say I worship anyone in particular. Life is such an individual journey I
don’t think it’s possible to find someone that lines up completely with what I am doing.

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

Deep down you have to have this underlying belief in your abilities. Don’t ever let anyone make you
doubt yourself and keep pushing forwards even when the odds are against you. Anything is possible if you put your mind into it. Be as proactive and independent as possible and create your own success.

Quickfire Questions

Tell us something about you that no one else knows (the more unusual the better!)

I think I was a fighter pilot in a past life….

What’s your superpower?

Got to be flying. I love planes.

What bit of sailing kit can you not live without? And why? (clothing/gadget/etc)

Can’t sail an ILCA without the grip toestrap and boots. Because of a BST team clothing sponsor clash I can’t actually mention their name publicly, but their name does sound remarkably like ‘bike’. Make of that what you will!

What’s your ultimate dream? (this can be sailing or non-sailing)

To win an Olympic gold medal and bring the cup home finally for GBR in the America’s Cup, it’s been way too long. Outside of sailing I’d love to also get my pilots license.

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