Sam Whaley winner of Sailmon Speed Challenge
After a month of fanatic racing, there is a winner of the Sailmon Speed Challenge in the WASZP class! The 24-year-old Brit Sam Whaley became the fastest in the competitive field with a stunning 250m run or 24.85 knots. More than 80 international WASZP sailors took part in the competition, which was organized to celebrate the new collaboration between Sailmon and the WASZP class. We spoke to Sam - the new owner of a MAX device - about his well-deserved victory.
Hi Sam! Congrats on your victory! Before we start, can you please introduce yourself?
''Thanks! Really happy to win this one. I'm 24, from Swanage in Dorset, on the south coast of England. I'm pretty lucky to call sailing my passion and my professional career, as I am a Laser/ILCA sailor in the British Sailing Team. I did have a job at Microsoft UK after leaving education at 18, but then pro-sailing became a viable option shortly after and I had to leave the office job to pursue my Olympic dream. I have been doing that for 5 years now and have won the Laser nationals twice, as well as placing 4th and 5th at the Laser Under-21 Europeans & Worlds.''
''Although I sail my Laser/ILCA extensively as my day-job, my family have a Waszp which I have been able to learn to sail on over the past few years and so whenever possible I do spend time learning about foiling, with the ultimate aim of using my experience in this class to traverse into America's Cup sailing one day.''
With a stunning 24.86knots you're the winner of the WASZP speed challenge. Tell us more about the moment!
''I heard about the Waszp Sailmon speed challenge in early May and instantly knew I had to enter and at least try and win. I don't get as many hours to sail my Waszp as I would like but my day-job is all about making boats go as fast as possible and given I am 84kg I knew this was a straight line challenge that would suit me. However matters were complicated as I was going abroad at the end of May to Portugal for my British Sailing Team duties, so I knew I only had three attempts at home to try and win the prize!''
''The best decision I made was going with my Dad to Lymington one Saturday, as he was competing at an RS Aero open event. I went out in my Waszp and sailed a few miles upwind to the beach under Hurst Castle where there was perfectly flat water, consistent winds and warm water. The wind then picked up much more than forecast to 20-25 knots and I was just reaching back and forwards, trying to hang on and make sure I sent it for the 250m runs. I didn't actually have a speed display onboard so I had no clue how fast I was actually going and had to calculate how many seconds the 250m run would take and then look at my sailing watch to estimate the speed.''
How many attempts did you need for the 24.86knots?
''Quite a few. I tried on three separate days, each day doing about ten attempts. As I said before I did not have a speed display and had no way of knowing how fast I had gone until I got home, so I wanted to do as many attempts as possible just to be sure. On the day of the winning run in Lymington, the 20-25 knots made it physically challenging so after 45 minutes I figured it would be wise to head back. I then had quite a few spectacular crashes on the downwind home!''
Victory is sweet. You'll receive a MAX. Why are you looking forward to sailing with MAX?
''The MAX looks like an awesome unit. I have never sailed a Waszp with anything but a stop watch, so I am really looking forward to watching the key metrics such as speed, pitch and heel. I think the ability to ping the startline is also going to be so useful as it is tricky to judge by eye when you are approaching at 20 knots! It looks really cool and I can't wait to improve my sailing with it.''
The article is part of Sailmons partnership with WASZP class.