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This month we meet Greg Bell from RNIYC and find out his progression through sailing and how priorities have changed...

Name: Greg Bell

Age: 47

Club: Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club

What age did you start sailing? I started sailing when I was around 10 or 11

How did you get into sailing? My parents got me into summer sailing courses when I was younger. One of these was in Killyleagh. I didn’t progress at that stage though which I’m disappointed about but my Father encouraged me back into it when I was around 16 or 17.

I started crewing for people and got the bug when I started Championships. I crewed for Hugh Rebbeck in a squib and we won the Irish National Championships and I was hooked. I also crewed for Llyod Crisp, a top English guy, and we did a few Championships in Ireland the UK. We went on to win the Irish and Northern Irish Championships and finished second in the UK Nationals.

I then started helming a boat myself with various people and pushed on from there.

I progressed from squibs to Lasers dinghies and I have also sailed an Rs 400 and won the Irish Nationals. I also really enjoyed campaigning an SB20 for a few seasons.

I have recently bought an RS Elite and am sailing in the British Championships this weekend with my son Harry.

Top sailing memories: There’s been so many but my top memory was probably winning the Irish Championships crewing for Hugh Rebbeck. Having won that as part of a team meant I was hooked on sailing for life.

Tell us something we don’t already know about you:
My other sporting passion is rugby, I played for North rugby club and later for Belfast Harlequins.

What are your goals for the future? I would like to keep sailing with my children. My goals are now their goals. I get a lot from watching my children sail and meet more people and experience a higher level of competition than I have ever achieved.

Who is your sporting hero? Brian O’Driscoll
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