Rutland Sailing Club star Dan Venables believes he and partner Nathaniel Gordon are well placed to make a splash in 2016.
29er sailor Venables has never been far away from the podium in 2015, winning the Winter Championships, Gold RYA Youths and a Grand Prix alongside Patrick Keech.
And not even a switch to partner with Gordon could slow the 18-year-old down as the pair recorded a third place and two runner-up finishes in Grand Prixs in September and October.
Venables puts their fast start down to Gordon’s extra experience, all of which gives the teenager high hopes for next year.
“Me and my next partner, Nathaniel, are really pushing on now and have come second in a couple of national events,” said Venables.
“Hopefully by the time all the big competitions roll around next year we’ll be in the right shape to be competing for that first place.
“Nathaniel has been sailing the boat for a while as well, so in terms of being able to gel together it really hasn’t taken too long as we both know the ropes. We knew each other from before as well and we’re good friends, so it’s been an easy transition and we’re confident looking towards the Youth National Championships in Wales next year.
“There’s also the Europeans and the Worlds, and my main aim for 2016 is top ten at the Worlds and top-five at the Europeans, so hopefully both of those are achievable by the time those competitions roll around.”
Venables was speaking at the Jaguar Land Rover Academy of Sport workshop at Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing in Portsmouth.
More than 20 of the country’s brightest athletes attended on Tuesday last week, where they were offered education sessions on issues such as nutrition and interview techniques, and given mentoring by former Olympic cyclist Bryan Steel and ex-England rugby union player David Flatman.
Venables added: “It’s really exciting to go Land Rover BAR as a sailor. It’s great that they are based here and for me to be able to come and learn about their nutrition and maintain their fitness is really useful.
“To get to meet some of the sailors here is outstanding experience and it helps you realise that I am on track. “I definitely think being part of the Jaguar Land Rover academy of sport improves your performance and gives you an edge over your competition.
“It really motivates me a lot and makes me want to get to the top even more.”
Dan Venables attended the Jaguar Land Rover Academy of Sport workshop, mentored by Land Rover ambassador David Flatman and Sportsaid Patron Bryan Steel. For more visit sportsaid.org.uk