Sailing Main Body

New Fireflies delivered for the 15/16 season.

Sailing into the Record Books

From a major investment in equipment to winning World Championships, it really has been a great year for Sailing at Exeter.

Honorary Graduate Ben Ainslie alongside Exeter Alumnus David Carr currently sits top of the leaderboard after two races in the America’s cup for their Land Rover BAR team. This latest success alongside Nick Thompson really highlights Exeter as a top Sailing Institution.

Former sailing scholar, Nick Thompson (Exercise & Sports Science, 2008), was crowned the Laser World Champion earlier this month.  The event, which took place in Kingston, Canada, from 2-8 July, saw Nick remain one of the top five competitors for the entire event.  He went into the final day with a 20 point lead, becoming the first British Laser World Champion in six years, having finished second and third in previous championships. 

After the medal winning race, talking to the RYA, Nick commented “I’m kind of speechless to be honest.  It’s been a long time coming! I’ve medalled in four other Worlds and come so close but never quite won one, and to finally do it – and do it the year before the Olympics when it really matters… I’m over the moon!”

The GB sailing team also won 11 medals at the Miami stage of the ISAF sailing world cup back in January. The squad which included four Exeter Alumni, three of which returned with medals have had a successful campaign so far in the World Series. Thompson, alongside fellow Exeter Alumni Sophie Ainsworth and Hannah Diamond have been selected to represent Team GB at the final Rio 2016 test event in August.

The University of Exeter a proud tradition in sailing and provides opportunities for all young sailors to attain RYA qualifications. Consistently ranking within the top 3 institutions in BUCS for sailing, the High Performance club boasts a pedigree of up and coming sailors, ensuring that the University will continue to be represented at the highest level.

The University of Exeter Sailing Club provide four main racing opportunities in Team, Fleet, Match and Yacht Racing categories and with the introduction of three new Fireflies, provisions for club members are at an all-time high.

This new equipment was funded by donations from our alumni community, current club captain Alex Hawkes commented:

 "The Exeter University Sailing Club is delighted to have been able to update its fleet with three new Fireflies. Not only will these be used by our competitive racing teams but also they will allow complete novices and intermediates to learn to sail. Our thanks go to the generous donations that made this possible."


Notes to editors:

For more information about the University of Exeter Student Sports Clubs or becoming a supporter please contact Chris Doody on 01392 725626 or

About the University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university and in the top one percent of institutions globally. It combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction. Exeter has over 19,000 students and is ranked 7th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide league table, 11th in The Complete University Guide and 12th in the Guardian University Guide 2014. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), the University ranked 16th nationally, with 98% of its research rated as being of international quality. Exeter was The Sunday Times University of the Year 2012-13.

 The University has invested strategically to deliver more than £350 million worth of new facilities across its campuses in the last few years; including landmark new student services centres - the Forum in Exeter and The Exchange on the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, together with world-class new facilities for Biosciences, the Business School and the Environment and Sustainability Institute. There are plans for another £330 million of investment between now and 2016.

 For more information about this story contact:

Andrew Fry, Marketing Manager
01392 725119,

Date: 31 July 2015