2014-02-10 17:19:32 - Teenage sailing sensation from Ringwood Waldorf School meets Olympic hero Sir Ben Ainslie
It was a ‘knight’ and day to remember for one New Forest teenager who is on the crest of a wave after winning an international sailing event.
Ringwood Waldorf School student Milo Gill-Taylor’s dreams came true when he won the Junior Gold Cup in Bermuda – and got to meet his heroes Sir Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy.
The talented youngster was - as winner of the GBR Optimist Selection Trials and British National Champion - invited by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club to take part in the competition.
What Milo didn’t know was that he would also be running coaching sessions for disadvantaged Bermudan sailors alongside Sir Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy.
Not only that but the 13 year-old also got to stay
in the same Bermudan family home as Sir Ben and Iain.
Milo said: “When we arrived in Bermuda, Ben Nicholls, whose house we were staying at, came to get us from the airport.
“As we came out of the airport he said there was someone else in the car - then Ben Ainslie stepped out.
“I was stunned but Ben Ainslie is a really, really nice guy - it was incredible.”
Spending so much time with Ben Ainslie, the most successful Olympic sailor in history with his haul of five consecutive medals, and double Olympic champion Iain Percy – proved to be inspirational.
In fact Milo’s journey to clinching the Junior Gold Cup mirrored Sir Ben Ainslie’s triumph in 2012 when he overhauled a huge lead to grab the gold medal.
Going into the last day Milo was 10 points behind the Australian sailor Max Quirk – and looked an unlikely winner.
But remembering the advice given to him by Lymington’s Sir Ben Ainslie and Southampton’s Iain Percy, Milo came from behind to win the final honours.
He said: “Some of their best advice came before the last race.
“They had just done their semi-final of the Bermuda Gold Cup. They told me what to expect, which side was favouring and what the wind was doing. When Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy tell you things like this you listen.
“Winning the event was amazing but staying in the same team house as Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy and their team was beyond anything I could have imagined.”
Milo, who lives in Ringwood, is now setting his sights on the Winter Championships and events in Vigo, Palma, Palamos and Garda.
Ringwood Waldorf School Administrator, Nigel Revill, said: “Everyone at the school is thrilled at Milo’s success.
“He is such a talented student who does so well combining his school life with a very promising future in sailing.
“We have every hope that in Milo we may one day see a Ringwood Waldorf School pupil standing on the Olympic podium.”