By Beth Miller – @bethmillersailing
I began sailing when I was 10 years old in the RS Tera Sport and was soon thrown into my first competition after a month or two of getting in the boat – Regatta Fleet at a very cold and windy Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club! I finished in a solid last position. It was a scary event for me. I hardly knew how to steer a boat let alone be on a start line. The winds were heavy, or at least I thought they were. Even after this failed attempt at the sport, I continued for another two years in the Sport fleet [making some progress] before moving into the Pro fleet in late 2016.
I was not particularly good in the Sport fleet, but once I moved into the Pro fleet things changed! Although the boat was much better balanced everything became an awful lot more technical. One day something clicked and I soon began to get some good results. Dad and I would regularly sit down and watch Olympic races to look at each individual sailors technique and I tried to apply each technique to my own sailing to find the best-suited style for me.
The most memorable competition of mine will always be the 2018 RS Tera World Championships. I was going into the competition expecting a top 20 result. For two months prior to the competition, I went out training by myself working on little details like tacking, gybing and keeping the boat flat. This did ultimately pay off. In the first race, I finished in a strong 18th place, which gave me a lot more confidence going into the rest of the competition. The second race, to my surprise, was even better. I crossed the line in 16th place but I never would have imagined the position I finished in the last race. I finished 2nd.
After three races I came off the water buzzing and was 2nd overall. I somehow managed to keep this up through the rest of the regatta with mainly top finishes [including a first].
That winter I moved into the RS Feva with Tilda Brayshay and we had a blast together. We competed in several competitions our best being the 2019 RS Feva Nationals in Abersoch. Unfortunately, my sailing the RS Feva was cut short [just 15 months in all] due to Covid-19 and the cancellation of the 2020 Worlds in Germany. This was supposed to be our last competition together before I moved back into a single-handed boat.
Following the cancellation of the RS Feva World Championships, we bought an RS Aero and it made such a good transition from the Feva. It’s a light boat so is so much easier to pull up the slipway but is also fairly simple and straight forward. There are not overly fancy setups and is also a really comfortable boat. Since the club has reopened, I’ve really enjoyed being out on the water and thoroughly enjoyed the time spent in the Aero. It has also been a great boat for Mum and Dad to sail. Dad has sailed the RS Aero 7 whilst mum has regularly used the RS Aero 5, like me. It’s a great boat that we all enjoy and isn’t too complicated.