DEVIZES’ Andrew Farrow says he’s caught the bug for top level competition after testing himself against some of the world’s top sailors at the 2013 International 2.4 metre class World Championship earlier this month.

The 48-year-old was in action at the Poole Yacht Club, completing nine of his 11 races as he took to the water alongside London 2012 gold medallist Helena Lucas and her fellow Great Britain Paralympic star Megan Pascoe.

Sweden’s Stellan Berlin won his seventh world title but Farrow, who is paralysed from the chest down, is savouring his first taste of world championship competition.

“It was exhilarating and absolutely extraordinary – to say that I’ve raced amongst the world’s best sailors is amazing,” said Farrow.

“It was such a tough event. It was five straight days where you’re racing for six hours at a time, so it really does take its toll on your body.

“Most of the time, I was laid down being constantly soaked with salt water.

“It was an open event but you had to be good enough to be there and to be a part of it all was fantastic.

“The strangest part of it all was when you had to make a complaint about another sailor going off course in front of you.

“You had to go in and stand in front of a panel of people, with the person you were complaining about stood right next to you.

“That was a real experience but it was something that I had to get used to and it was all part of the experience.

“Another sailor I met there told me that I should go to next year’s worlds in Canada and it’s something that I’m thinking about already. I’m definitely going to be competing again.”

The 2.4m class involves one-man racing yachts, which are ergonomically designed for handicapped sailors.

Farrow brought his vessel to the Sidmouth Street headquarters of award-winning butchers Walter Rose & Son in Devizes on Saturday to celebrate a new sponsorship agreement.

Farrow is being backed, along with Trowbridge-based British bobsleigh pilots John Jackson and Paula Walker, who will fly the flag for Great Britain at the Winter Olympics in Sochi next February.

Walter Rose & Sons owner, Steve Cook paid tribute to Farrow, saying: “Not only is he competing at the highest level, but he has overcome such adversity to get there.

“He is a real inspiration to us and we are very proud to be associated with him.”