A BLIND sailor who represents Great Britain has been crowned world champion alongside his teammates.

Mark Austen from Yate triumphed as part of the GB Blind Sailing team at the 2019 Blind Fleet Racing World Championships, hosted by Kingston Yacht Club in Canada.

The event is run in conjunction with World Sailing.

The competition featured seven different teams from countries around the world, and Great Britain successfully defended the Squadron Cup they won at the Blind Sailing World Championships last held in America in 2017.

Mark, 56, said he was delighted with the victory.

“I train, sail, and race four days once a month with the GBR team,” Mark explained.

“We sail in Windermere or UKSA Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

“It has been a year of hard work and commitment to get to the highest standard to be selected and race for team GBR at the Worlds.

“It has been a fantastic journey, we sailed against some of the best Blind sailors in the World from Canada, America, Australia, Japan and France. I am so proud to be a part of the GBR team.

“It was a week of amazing close racing and words do not describe the feeling of being crowned world champions.”

Mark’s sailing exploits are followed by a number of organisations and people in the Sodbury and Yate area and he thanked them for their support.

“I would like to thank the following organisations and people for their help,” he said. “Chipping Sodbury Rotary, Yate Rotary, Chipping Sodbury Yacht Club, Lions Club, Luke Hall MP, Molly Westcott, Bob Keen, customers of Tesco in Yate and to all my other supporters.”