Olympic hopeful Calum Gregor, 14, joins Ian Williams for HK regatta
KGV schoolboy Calum Gregor hopes to learn plenty of tricks from the master when he joins four-time world match racing champion Ian Williams in a regatta on Victoria Harbour this weekend.
Gregor has been chosen as the junior sailor on Williams' crew at the 1010 4G Hong Kong International Match Racing Regatta. And the 14-year-old Hong Kong-born sailor is looking forward to learning the finer points of match racing as he ambitiously looks towards the 2020 Olympics.
"I am extremely excited as it will be a huge learning opportunity to get tips from a four-time world champion," Gregor said. "I have been doing a lot of match racing to help with my optimist dinghy sailing. As Ian wanted some junior sailors on the team I was invited to crew for him and I jumped at the opportunity."
Twelve boats, all J-80s, will take part in the two-day event. There will be eight crews skippered by overseas captains, including British world number one Williams, New Zealanders Phil Robertson (No 4) and William Tiller (No 5) plus four local crews who emerged from last week's Hong Kong Nationals.
Gregor comes from a family with strong sailing traditions. His grandfather sailed in the America's Cup in 1958 on a boat named Sceptre and his father is also an enthusiast.
"I learned to sail at Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club when I was six and last year joined the club's youth squad known as the Sharks," said Gregor the number one Hong Kong sailor in the Optimist class.
He recently took part in the Thailand and Singapore Optimists nationals, finishing fifth and 17th respectively.
In 2010, Gregor tasted his first Optimist World Championships in New Zealand and he has been selected to represent Hong Kong at this year's event on Lake Garda in Italy next month.
"I hope I can represent Hong Kong at the Olympics in 2020 in the 470 or 49er class. I train very hard every weekend, eight hours a day, and I will also attend as many overseas events as possible to gain the valuable knowledge that I need to sail at an Olympic level. But opportunities like this, sailing with Ian, cannot be missed. I hope this will one day help me fulfil my dreams."