University of Bath graduate Alexandra Rickham is celebrating a fifth successive SKUD title at the IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championships.
Rickham, who graduated from the University with a Natural Sciences degree in 2004, and sailing partner NIki Birrell, continued their domination of the SKUD class at the World Championships by adding the 2013 title to their haul at Kinsale in Ireland.
The pair have sailed together since the start of 2008 and won their first World Championships title the following year. They also took bronze at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and won this year’s Europeans.
“Obviously we’re massively excited to keep a clean sheet on the World Championship front and to bring another title home for the team,” she said,
“It definitely wasn’t as easy as it looked. The Italians and the Canadians who were the other two medallists, pushed us pretty hard – particularly the Italians,” said Rickham.
“Our downwind speed has been really good and we’ve worked a bit on that so it’s nice to see the fruits of the work paying off.”
Rickham and Birrell now have their sights set on the only major title to elude them so far – the Paralympic gold at Rio in 2016.
“We have that one elusive title that we need to get our hands on, so we have quite a lot of work on for the next three years to try and make that happen,” said Rickham. “But it’s been a good week. It’s been a tough week, but we’ve learnt a load of lessons so in terms of moving our sailing forward it’s been really, really worthwhile being here in Kinsale, so we’re looking to the rest of the Road to Rio!”
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Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision