'My friends think I'm crazy' - Suffolk student trains every day for sailing win
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
Waking up before breakfast to run and train is just a typical day for a 16-year-old Suffolk student who has his eyes on an Olympic win.
Sebastian Kempe, from Bermuda, searched the world for a school where he could pursue his dream and chose the Royal Hospital School in Holbrook for its specialist sailing academy.
His father, who also competed twice at the Youth Sailing World Championship, was so "proud", Sebastian said, for him to secure the win for his small island nation of Bermuda.
In December, Sebastian won the Youth World Champion 2021 title (ILCA6 Male class).
He competed in nine races and secured three race wins against 50 boats in his class.
"It was good winning and a relief and a real confidence boost," he said. "The target was to win and I trained my mind and body with that in mind."
His ambition does not end there with Paris 2024 the goal.
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The teenager hopes to get to the Olympics just like British sailor Ben Ainslie, who took home the youth title before winning five medals at consecutive Olympics from 1996.
To achieve it, he wakes up before breakfast to run and trains even in freezing winter Suffolk temperatures at Alton Water.
"My friends think I'm crazy," he said. "They don't understand it.
"I'm training for Paris 2024 for when I go just after I leave school.
"They've been so helpful here at helping me train."
Ed Sibson, director of sailing at the Royal Hospital School, said; "He has a world champion mindset, getting up before breakfast to run and train in the gym before the school day begins.
"He is dedicated to his training plan and we are delighted to have supported him with his racing schedule by sending out Shaun Priestley, our race training coach, to be with him in Oman.
"Sebastian is extremely versatile across a wide range of boats and has been a valuable team member in some of our recent school competition successes."
Simon Lockyer, headmaster at the Royal Hospital School, said: "We are delighted that such a talented young man has been able to secure his dream to be Youth World Champion whilst he is at school with us.
"We look forward to watching his progress over the coming years on the world stage."