St Peter's School
A St Peter’s pupil celebrated national success this summer, after being crowned a British Ladies’ champion at the National Sailing Championships in Pwllheli.
Maddie, competing with her partner Athena in a 29-er and funded by the British Sailing Youth Squad, was a favourite going into the Championships, having sailed since the age of eight, progressing from a Tera to a Fiba.
“It was windy and wavy, which favoured us,” Maddie explains. “I am tall and strong, so the conditions definitely did not challenge us in the way they challenged some of the other girls. We went in hoping to win and were both just so happy with our success.”
Maddie and her helm also tasted success at Lake Garda for the European championships, coming top British girl boat and being placed in sixth place overall from nearly 50 girls’ teams from across Europe in a total fleet of 210 boats.
“The sports department, particularly Mrs Barnard and Miss Wilson, as well as Mr Hardy, have been so supportive,” Maddie says. I am in the first team for both Hockey and Netball, yet I miss matches on Saturdays because I am sailing. Their support to me in pursuing the sport I love most of all, has meant a lot to me. I have to make compromises, but not too many sacrifices, because of the way the School has arranged things.”
Maddie cites commitment and time management as the key skills required for national success. It may also help, she admits, to having a father who has encouraged her for over a decade, and who is himself a professional sailor.
Her sights are set next on the World Championships, to be held in Weymouth next summer, as well as defending her title at the Nationals, yet Maddie is equally focused on academic success:
She says: “I plan to take a gap year, after which I am very much hoping to join a University on the South Coast, so that I can continue to study and to sail, as I have done at St Peter’s.”