10:00am Tuesday 19th November 2013 in News A RINGWOOD teenager has won an international sailing event – and met Olympic legends. Milo Gill-Taylor, 13, a pupil at the Ringwood Waldorf School, won the Junior Gold Cup in Bermuda and got to meet his heroes Sir Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy.

The talented youngster qualified for the contest after winning the GBR Optimist Selection Trials and becoming British National Champion. What he didn’t know was that he would also be running coaching sessions for disadvantaged Bermudan sailors alongside the stellar sailors, and staying in the same family home as Sir Ben and Percy. Milo said: “When we arrived in Bermuda Ben Nicholls, whose house we were staying at, came to get us from the airport. As we came out of the airport he said there was someone else in the car – then Ben Ainslie stepped out. “I was stunned but he is a really, really nice guy – it was incredible.”

Spending so much time with Sir Ben – the most successful Olympic sailor in history with his haul of five consecutive medals – along with double Olympic champion Iain Percy, proved to be inspirational. Going into the last day Milo was ten points behind the Australian sailor Max Quirk, and looked an unlikely winner. But Milo came from behind to win the final honours. And the experienced sailors were on hand to give him some advice. “They had just done their semi-final of the Bermuda Gold Cup,” said Milo. “They told me what to expect, which side was favouring and what the wind was doing. When Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy tell you things like this you listen. Winning the event was amazing but staying in the same team house as Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy and their team was beyond anything I could have imagined.”

Milo is now setting his sights on the Winter Championships and events in Vigo, Palma, Palamos and Garda. Waldorf School administrator Nigel Revill said: “Everyone at the school is thrilled at Milo’s success. “He is such a talented student who does so well combining his school life with a very promising future in sailing.”