Up and coming 49er sailors, Rory and Neil Hunter, are the latest recipients of the Marlow Ropes Award, which will give the Scottish brothers free rope for a year after recently being selected to join the British Sailing Team Podium Potential Squad.
The Marlow Ropes Award was introduced in 2002 with the aim of rewarding Britain’s most promising young sailors for their determination, focus and talent.
The sailing siblings from Lamlash on the Isle of Arran, Scotland, have spent the last three months training alongside the Podium Potential Squad, and given their 49er potential and recent performances, the brothers earned selection to the British Team in January.
Rory, the 17-year-old helm commented, “We were both absolutely delighted to have won the Marlow Ropes Award only days after our selection for the Podium Potential Squad.”
“We feel we have won the award from the results we have gained over the past season and from displaying a high amount of dedication and commitment during our time training alongside the Podium Potential Squad.
“The award will be a huge benefit to our campaign over the next season as we will be able to fit our boat out with top quality rope. In the 49er class, halyards and control lines come under high loads in the windier conditions, making top quality rope absolutely key to ensure a successful day racing with no breakages.”
Over the past 18 months the duo have recorded some impressive results, including the 49er National Championship title in August, finishing second overall at the RYA National Ranking Series in November, and their season highlight coming at the ISAF Santander World Championships where they posted 36th overall and 11th in the silver fleet.
The 19-year-old Neil added, “We feel that the key ingredient to our results over the past year has been mainly a lot of hard work! We’ve spent a lot of time sailing and just learning as much as possible. The learning curve is so steep, especially in a class like the 49er.”
“Over the next 12 months our main goal is a top five at the Youth Worlds, that’s our target event this year. We’ve got a lot of sailing planned between now and then, with events throughout Europe and we’re going to Miami later this week. The Marlow award entitles the brothers to free Marlow rope for a year, which Rory says will be invaluable as they prepare for their inaugural season as British Sailing Team members.
“The award will help us massively. In a high performance boat like a 49er having the best kit is crucial for us to achieve our goals. With Marlow Ropes we can be sure that we are using the best rope available so it’s just one less thing for us to worry about! It will be a massive boost to our campaign.”
Barrie Edgington, British sailing team podium potential squad manager commented, “Rory and Neil are rare examples of sailors who have taken a slightly more independent tack to campaigning and making the case for support from the World Class Programme.
“In doing so their professional approach combined with achieving measurable international and national results has got them noticed and rewarded both by officially joining the British Sailing Team and being nominated for the prestigious Marlow Ropes Award.
“If they keep up the level of commitment to their 49er sailing and goals, I am sure they will continue to excel and achieve higher things.”
For more information, visit Marlow Ropes.