Arthur Farley


Arthur Farley has his sights on under-21 world and European glory after making a welcome return to the water at the ILCA Senior European Championships.

Farley missed most of last season after being diagnosed with chronic hairy cell leukaemia, a rare form of cancer, in February 2023 but was back on his boat in time for the regatta in Athens.

The 20-year-old only properly returned to sailing in November but finished 34th in the ILCA 7 class despite little preparation time. And the result has given him plenty of confidence as to what might be achieved with some more training in the tank.

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Farley’s return to action brought an end to a difficult year, with the Isle of Wight native coming to terms with his diagnosis, which is believed to make him the only person in the world under the age of 30 with the rare illness.

Speaking on his return, Arthur has said:

“After a year out, I came to the event without a goal. To have a result which is quite respectable is great. I just tried to keep that mindset and see how I ended up. It was good to be racing again.

‘I don’t really have goals for this year. Some people may think that I could win the under-21 Europeans or worlds but I am just battling against myself.

“I am not worrying about anyone else, I am just fighting to get into a solid training block without getting sick then I can get to that level for sure.

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“The goal is to get two or three months of solid training under the belt. Just now, I was just totally relying on my old skill and memory.”

His time away meant that challenging the medals in Athens was always going to be difficult, while low winds made the task even more challenging. But Farley was pleased with how he adapted to the ever-changing circumstances, with 6 races crammed into the final two days a particularly demanding prospect. He added:

“I only started sailing again in November so I have only been out 10 or 15 times before the regatta. I haven’t really done that much and it was quite brutal, I was just trying to get to the end of the last race.

“I’m quite happy with how I performed, it was super tight considering the wind we had and the fleet was super competitive.

Follow the British Sailing Team on Instagram at @britishsailing

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