Poole High School pupil and sailing supremo Eve Kennedy has been chosen to represent Great Britain in the World Championships, which take place in Italy and Weymouth this summer.

The plucky 18 year-old, who lives in Poole, has been dinghy sailing since the age of six, introduced to the sport by her mum at Parkstone Yacht Club.

And Eve really got the bug after watching the sailing preparations for the 2012 Olympic events, many of which were held off local waters in Weymouth.

For the past five years, Eve has represented Great Britain in international competitions. In 2019, she attended the Laser Radial/ ILCA 6 Youth World Championships in Canada where she finished an impressive seventh place in Under 17 in the World.

This year, she will be competing at the Youth World Championships in Italy, and the Under 21 World Championships in Weymouth. Laser Radial/ ILCA 6

Eve said: “After not sailing for several months during the various national lockdowns, I was eager to get training again. I’ve been lucky to be allowed to train with the British Youth performance squad, sailing under the elite sporting exemption, which this past month has allowed me to train every weekend at the national sailing academy in Weymouth.

Eve is studying A-levels in Biology. P.E and Maths. Her P.E teacher Nicola Wilkins said:

“Eve is an inspiration to her peers, having managed to balance her A level PE studies with the rigorous training programme that the sport demands. Travelling (with elite athlete exemption) up and down the country each weekend and still turning up to lessons Monday morning with a smile on her face – she’s amazing. We wish her all the very best for the ‘Worlds’ in the summer.”

Eve is hoping to manage a dual career when she leaves Poole High and intends to go into sail design and manufacture whilst still continuing her sailing. “My ultimate goal is to get as far as I can in sailing and if this means Olympic gold, that would be great!”

Her coach, James Hadden believes Eve has got all the qualities to fulfil her ambitions. He said: “Eve is a brilliant sailor to coach, she is very hard working, has a great sense of humour, enjoys the journey and is dedicated to achieving her goals. One of her super strengths is her determination to actually go out and do what she needs to do and so I have no doubt that Eve is on track to achieve some fantastic things in the future.”

Eve’s ambition has been driven by meeting and getting to know her sailing idol and world-ranked number 2 sailing champion Annie Lush: “We grew up at the same sailing club and seeing Annie progress to Olympic gold has made me believe I am on the same journey and can reach a similar goal,” said Eve.

Paul Gray, Head of Poole High School said: “Eve's qualification for two world championships is a huge credit to her dedication. All too often we regard such excellence as if it is something 'other' - achievable only by the superhuman.”

He added: “However, Eve's teachers and fellow students know that the self-discipline, commitment and hard work are at the heart of her superb achievement. Her ability to achieve at a world class level while maintaining focused dedication to her studies in someone so young is so highly commendable. She is an example to us all in these trying times.”

Eve added: “I have achieved all this by working hard and funding myself. Challenges are mountains to be conquered and every challenge that's stood in my way I've faced head on. I've even sailed with a broken hand. I’ve worked hard to fund my races and now I am on course to challenge for the title in the World Championships.”

This motivated young woman has created a crowd-funding page to raise money to fund her world championships entry. Her friends in Year 13 at Poole High have also formed a committee to help Eve in her fundraising efforts.

You can pledge support for Eve at the following link https://gofund.me/307c86bb

or if you are a local business wishing to sponsor Eve, please contact Poole High School via PA to the Head c.thompson@poolehigh.poole.sch.uk