Perse pupil sails into British youth performance squad
23 Nov 2020
Talented sailor Joey Taylor (Year 11) aims to make a splash after being selected for the British youth squad.
Along with regular crewmate Kuba Staite, Joey has been included in the Royal Yachting Association’s Youth Performance Squad in the 420 class. At just 15, Joey is one of the youngest members of the group.
Although thrilled to have been selected for the national squad, Joey admitted his main feeling was one of relief. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, just one race has been held this year – the British 420 Autumn Championship in Devon in September – at which Joey and Kuba, who is based on Hayling Island, finished eighth overall.
Joey said: “Usually, there would be a set number of events and selection is based off your results from those. This year we only had one event which they could count, so they looked at how people did in training camps as well as at open training.
“We felt we were in serious contention, but we are really happy to have been selected. It’s something that you aspire to and it’s the furthest we can go at our age.”
However, having made it into the British youth squad, Joey is aware that the hard work is only just beginning.
He said: “There will be training camps over the winter and there will be certain benchmarks set that you have to try to achieve. They’ll look at how you take to the coaching, as well as your technique and attitude and they’ll also carry out physical profiling to measure your fitness.
“They expect us to take part in a number of domestic and international competitions, so hopefully 2021 is going to be a really good year for sailing for us.”
Joey had previously had a lot of success in the RS Feva class with former partner Terry Hacker, including winning the British title last year, before switching to 420.
He said: “It’s meant learning different skills and one of the reasons I went into 420 was because it has a generic spinnaker. I knew learning the skills around that would help me later on and give me more options.
However, his long-term aim is to perform well in the national youth squad before moving into the Olympic 470 class when he reaches senior level.
Joey said: “Kuba and I are planning to do some 470 events, so when we’re 18, we’ll be able to hit the ground running rather than starting from scratch.”