Sailing in catamarans has been part of Tom Phipps life since he was 10 years old. Now at the age of 26 years and aiming to represent GBR at a future Olympics Tom is involved in making sure other young sailors get a similar chance to start sailing catamarans as he did some 15 years ago. Outside of Tom’s hectic Olympic Nacra 17 catamaran sailing program which includes working all hours and fund raising to finance his Olympic quest,he has been refurbishing the UKCRA (UK Catamaran Racing Association) fleet of Dart16 cats in preparation for the charter program available to clubs & associations.
Working from his home base at Windsport near Falmouth, Tom has been servicing, renewing and replacing the boats to prepare the three fleets of Dart 16s to be available for clubs to charter commencing the beginning of 2015.
Age ten, Tom started his cat sailing on the Dart 16 with his best friend John. He progressed on to the RYA junior cat program in Hobie Dragoons, the youth program in Hobie 16 ‘s , RYA development program in Hobie Tigers and eventually stepping into the Tornado catamaran just as ISAF pulled the plug on Olympic catamaran sailing. Although he continued to sail catamarans with titles in both the Dart 18 and F18 fleets as well as an invitation to sail in a C-Class event Tom re-focused his efforts and went to university, gained a first Class honours degree. Recently, with the introduction of catamaran sailing into the Olympics in Rio, he has slotted back into the Olympic catamaran program in the Nacra 17.
With all his experiences Tom certainly has not forgotten the fun, adrenaline and multihull skills he learnt as a young sailor in cats which is why he was very happy to get involved in the UKCRA Catamaran Club Charter Project. As Tom P said, “ sailing catamarans as a young sailor was the best buzz you could possible get. We sailed hard, had many crazy capsizes, enjoyed the squad coaching and made sure we enjoyed our down time at the end of each day. Getting into cats was the best decision I made in my sailing career and I hope every young sailor gets the chance to have a go”.
For more information on the UKCRA catamaran club charter program contact Cookie by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To follow Tom Phipps visit www.tomphippsracing.co.uk