Kieran Holmes-Martin in action

University of Exeter Windsurfer on the road to Rio 2016

Earlier this month, windsurfing scholar Kieran Holmes-Martin competed in the 2015 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships, the most important Olympic windsurfing Regatta staged by the RS:X Class.

Kieran finished in an impressive 17th place, despite the fact that his equipment never made it to Oman: “It was a really tough week, with little preparation due to my kit being left in England by the flight”. This superb achievement has put Kieran in a good position for future Olympic selection events, and as a result he has decided to defer his Engineering studies to enable him to train full time and fully commit to realising his sporting aspirations. In Kieran’s words, “The dream outcome for this year would be to gain selection to compete for GB at the 2016 Olympics”.

Kieran has been a keen windsurfer from an early age, following in his parents’ and brother’s footsteps, and in 2013 he became the ISAF RS:X Junior World Champion. He first sailed a boat at Carsington Water in Derbyshire, which he says is the best sailing venue in the UK. The next stop for Kieran, who has been identified as a future Podium Potential sailor by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), will be The Copa De Brazil in December.

Sailing is one of nine focus sports at the University and is part of the High Performance Programme. Kieran is in the High Performance squad for sailing, and trains hard under the watchful eye of Strength and Conditioning coach Wayne Pattinson, who commented: “I have been working with Kieran for the last two years and the first thing that will strike you about him is his intense desire and passion for sporting success, alongside his studying. His willingness to learn within his strength and conditioning sessions has been a testament to his success within windsurfing. Kieran has been a pleasure to work with during his time here and he has risen into the top 20 in the world rankings. This shows his continued improvement on his road to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and we wish him nothing but success in the future”.

The University of Exeter Sports Scholarship Scheme is one of the most prestigious in the UK, helping student athletes reach their full potential. The scheme provides a comprehensive support package and is tailored to suit the needs of each individual athlete. Many of our graduating scholars have progressed to a professional level in their chosen sport and represented their respective countries on the global stage.

The sailing programme has supported students who have achieved great success in the sport, including Sophie Ainsworth, Hannah Diamond, Izzy Hamilton, Sophie Weguelin, Martin Evans and Nick Thompson, who was Laser World Champion in 2015.

The University of Exeter has been named as The Times and Sunday Times Sports University of the Year 2016, in recognition of excellence in sports performance, education and research.

For more information about the High Performance and Scholarships schemes please visit the webpages or email the team. For more information about the Sailing Club, which caters for all abilities, visit the club webpage.

Date: 19 November 2015