Meet the Team: Land Rover BAR Academy sailor, Will Alloway

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016, Act 6, Madeira. - Madeira - Portugal
© Lloyd Images

Land Rover BAR Academy sailor Will Alloway juggles an intense schedule; balancing his time with the Land Rover BAR Academy with an Olympic campaign would be difficult enough, but Alloway is also studying for a degree in Maritime Law at Plymouth University.

Sailing became a passion and a career for the 20-year old from Leicester after a family holiday to the Balearic Islands at the age of eight. “We hired a small boat in Mallorca, and I enjoyed sailing so much that when I came back to the UK, I joined Northampton Sailing Club where I went on to complete my relevant RYA courses,” he told us.

Right from this early beginning, Alloway wanted to make sailing his life. “I always wanted to pursue it as a career, racing is too much fun!” He learnt in dinghies, following the RYA’s development route into two-handed skiffs and has won a number of titles, notably the 29er (Youth skiff class) Nationals in 2012.

Will Alloway, 49er Olympic Campaign with Henry Lloyd Williams

Alloway is currently campaigning for a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the 49er class with Henry Lloyd Williams, looking to bring back more sailing gold for Great Britain. He has a Sporting Excellence Scholarship from Plymouth University which helps him to fund his sailing dream, travelling to events around the world with the 49er.

“It’s the hours that you put in on your own training which sets you apart and allows you to become a professional sailor,” Alloway explained. “I train three days a week on the water in Weymouth and the rest of the week I’m hitting it hard in the university gym.”

Unlike most students, Alloway has completed an hour gym session and had a fuel-packed breakfast by 0800. “On a typical uni day, I will go to the gym for a big cardio session in the morning, then head to my lectures during the day. I have to plan my days to ensure I don’t miss too much uni work. I will then have a second gym session in the evening and catch up on emails and meet my sailing coaches in between. It’s full on but I’m committed to making this a success.

Extreme Sailing Series 2016, Cardiff - Cardiff - UK
© Lloyd Images

“When I’m not at uni, I will be training in Weymouth with Henry in our 49er. We have to make our training sessions as productive as possible. Typically, we will have a morning briefing, then spend three to five hours on the water with our coaches working on key areas. We’ll come back in and assess our performance on the day and work on how we can improve for the upcoming regattas before heading to the gym.”

In addition to Will’s hectic schedule, he’s sailing as wing trimmer onboard Land Rover BAR Academy’s GC32 competing in the Extreme Sailing Series. He sees his role as primarily to make the boat go fast, but also to help the helm with tactics and strategy around the course. 

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016, Sydney. - Sydney - Australia
© Jesus Renedo

“The Land Rover BAR Academy was an opportunity which couldn’t be missed, the Cup is such a historic trophy and alongside the Olympic Games is seen as the epitome of professional sailing. The Land Rover BAR Academy has given me a route to achieve that dream, starting with winning the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in 2017.”

The Land Rover BAR Academy will compete in Act One of the Extreme Sailing Series, starting 8th March - 11th March in Muscat, Oman. You can follow the action on twitter @extremesailing, SAP Sailing Analytics or watch the action on Friday & Saturday LIVE on YouTube.