Beckett banishes Sailing World Championship demons at The Hague

More than 1200 sailors from 80 nations raced across ten Olympic sailing disciplines.
More than 1200 sailors from 80 nations raced across ten Olympic sailing disciplines.

Micky Beckett believes he has banished his Allianz Sailing World Championship demons after winning ILCA 7 silver in The Hague.

The 28-year-old Solva sailor finished tenth in Aarhus five years ago but bounced back to secure second place behind Olympic champion Matt Wearn and put his fears of a 'curse' at the prestigious event to bed.

But it was far from plain sailing for Beckett, who had to overcome disqualification in Race 5 to secure his first World Championship medal and hand his hopes of Olympic selection a significant boost.

"Cracking it this year almost feels like I have broken a bit of a curse, to be honest," he said.

"It has been a long time coming, I have managed to win World Cups, European Championships, pretty much every other event there is.

"Every time I tried the World Championships, I got it wrong.

"It is a bit of a relief, but it is mixed feelings as well because I was winning the event for 90% of it pretty much, but it is a game of fine margins, and I made a very small mistake at the wrong moment.

"It ended up costing me the chance to be world champion, which is tough, but I am very happy with the medal, it is pretty cool.

"It is the most competitive sailing race you can get, it is brutally physical and long.

"It is a bit like the Tour de France in that you wake up every single day, your legs hurt, and you are going against a load of guys who are more experienced, better and sharper.

"I just was not able to match that in the past."

Beckett enjoyed an outstanding start to this year's Championship, finishing first, second or third in his opening five races.

However, an early start in Race 5 cost Beckett dearly, leaving him without a discard heading into Race 10.

His gold medal rival took full advantage, using his discard to disrupt Beckett's final effort, but the Brit did not begrudge Wearn's tactics, insisting he would have done the same thing.

"It just goes to show how tight it has been between me and him in the last few regattas," he said.

"He was just a little bit better this time, but he has come second before, so my coach and I both knew he was going to have no interest in sailing for second.

"We knew he was going to come after me, he is going to try and get me, which he did.

"But I will be more experienced and ready for him next time."

Beckett also achieved the Olympic qualifying standard needed to represent Great Britain at Paris 2024 in The Hague.

Although he is now highly likely to be selected for the Games, his inclusion still needs to be confirmed.

Beckett added: "The tough thing about sailing at the Olympics is that only one person from each country can go.

"So you can be very, very good and still not get the chance to go.

"I am part of a very good squad of four guys, and it is nice that we get along well and push each other to be as good as we are.

"I could not achieve any of what I have achieved without them pushing me.

"We all care a lot that whoever does go does a good job.

"We have kind of agreed that whoever is representing the country is also representing the lads and they have got to do well."

Follow the British Sailing Team after the Sailing World Championships in The Hague, Netherlands, on Instagram at @britishsailing