SAILING: Farrow taking on the best in Poole

This Is Wiltshire: Devizes sailor Andrew Farrow Devizes sailor Andrew Farrow

DEVIZES sailor Andrew Farrow was today preparing to line up against one of Great Britain’s London 2012 Paralympic golden girls in the 2013 International 2.4 Metre Class World Championship in Dorset, which started today.

Farrow will go head-to-head with 80 athletes, including Parlaympic star Helena Lucas, from 12 nations at The Poole Yacht Club between today and Friday, as able-bodied and disabled sailors are pitted against one another on a level playing field.

Some of the world’s top Paralympians, including the British Sailing team’s London 2012 2.4mR champion, Lucas, and Rio 2016 hopeful, Megan Pascoe, will be in action in Poole alongside the current able-bodied world champion, Peter Andersson from Sweden.

Farrow was paralysed from the chest down when he fell from a tree seven years ago, but having come from a family of sailors, he discovered it was a sport that enabled him to continue enjoying the active lifestyle he had before his accident.

At the beginning of this year, he started being able to take the sport more seriously after he was awarded funding by the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust to purchase a second-hand 2.4mR boat.

Having made his international competition debut at Sail for Gold Regatta in June, Farrow is now looking forward to pitting his wits against the diverse Worlds fleet.

He said: “Sailing has changed my life, and racing is such a rush. It’s impossible to describe, but it's excitement with a bit of fear thrown in at the same time. When you are sailing well, and the boat’s moving well in the water, it’s such a fantastic feeling.

“I’m the first to admit I won’t win the Worlds, but I have spent this year training towards this event with my coach Marcus (Frith) and am looking forward to putting what I’ve learned into practice in what will be a very competitive fleet."

Typically 25-30 percent of an International 2.4mR Worlds fleet is classified with a range in type and severity of disability.

However, the boat’s design – a stable keelboat which has the fingertip feel of a dinghy and is insensitive to sailor size - means every competing athlete, regardless of ability, age or gender, has just as much chance of claiming the top worlds prize.

For more details about the 2013 International 2.4mR Class World Championships visit 24mworlds2013.co.uk or follow @24mRWorlds2013 on Twitter.

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