Sacker relishing competition in hunt for Olympic Games debut

·3-min read
Molly Sacker
Molly Sacker

Molly Sacker insists she is relishing the red-hot competition as she attempts to book her spot at a debut Olympic Games.

In a crowded field where only one athlete can grab a qualification spot, the Tunbridge Wells sailing sensation knows she will need all the help she can access to get to Los Angeles in 2028.

But that being said, having sailed since the age of four and after producing impressive performances on the water more recently, the 22-year-old looks well-placed to make her bow in the USA.

Sacker competes in the ILCA 6 women’s single-handed dinghy, the only single-handed Olympics class and against the very best sailors in the world.

The rising star explained how racing in one of the most popular vessels - which remains relatively uniform across the field - invites a unique set of challenges when compared to other sailing disciplines.

“The ILCA is the most popular boat in the world,” she said.

“That means the fleet is really broad and it's not so much of an arms race of who has the best equipment, it really is just the best tactical sailors.

“There's such a high standard because unlike some of the other boats, it's completely one design.

“I’d love to go to the Olympic Games but I am realistic in the fact that only one person from the UK get to go in the ILCA 6.

“It's not like athletics where if you're fast enough you qualify - in sailing you can only send one boat.

“But if I couldn't qualify for the Olympics, being a world medallist would be a massive aim.

“I just really want to become one of the top girls in the sport.”

The Kent native, who was inspired to race competitively after witnessing the British sailing team led by Sir Ben Ainslie at London 2012, has had her task made considerably easier thanks to the funding she has received from Entain – owner of Ladbrokes and Coral – and SportsAid.

Along with the fundamentals which include the cost of the vessel she sails, Sacker has benefited from the support and coaching on offer.

It’s a development Sacker is hugely thankful for and one she hopes can enable her to make the most of her talents, adding: “Sailing is just really financially expensive.

“And although we try to keep it as low cost as possible, it just is because we’ve got to get a boost somewhere.

“The base costs are a lot so SportsAid, and Entain in particular, have been super helpful in providing financial grants, which basically have kept my campaign together this year.

“I've been on SportsAid for two years now and they have been a massive, massive help.

“Being involved in that community just means you get these extra nutrition talks, media talks and it just opens your eyes to how many people are involved in your programme.

“I didn't have to make decisions as to whether to go to this event, because I couldn’t afford it or not, it was more like ‘okay, now I can go’ - it reduces the stress on the whole campaign.

“And just makes my life a lot easier, I literally couldn't be more grateful.”

Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Visit entaingroup.com to find out more