The 16-year-old has a highly successful national and international sporting career under his sails already and has been steadily climbing the rankings.
Crowned top NI sailor in 2020 after winning the overall RYA NI Youth Champion at Ballyholme, Tom, a member of Portrush Yacht Club, has secured a string of notable accolades including an impressive win (top youth) at the Ulster Championships in June 2021 and a tenth place finish in the U19 category at the British Youth Nationals in North Wales just last month.
In June, Tom will travel to Thessaloniki in Greece to represent Ireland in the 2022 Youth European Championships, competing against 400 of Europe’s best young sailors.
Offering his congratulations to Tom, the Mayor, Councillor Richard Holmes, said: “I was very pleased to have this opportunity to welcome Tom and his family to Cloonavin to recognise his sporting successes to date. Our Borough is very fortunate to have ambassadors like him, representing Causeway Coast and Glens with great distinction.
“I want to offer him my very best wishes for the future. His passion for his chosen sport is truly inspiring and I have no doubt he will continue to excel.”
Speaking about his professional sailing career so far, Tom said: “Sailing is an incredible sport which has given me so many opportunities already. It teaches you resilience, self-confidence and how to deal with unpredictable situations as no two days on the water are ever the same. Although I’m still only 16, I’ve been fortunate to have travelled to some amazing places to train, and to race against sailors from across the world.
“When you arrive for a regatta, there is always an incredible buzz of anticipation before racing begins. The youth sailors, both boys and girls, have all grown up together and we are all great friends - although when get are on the water it’s extremely competitive! But back on shore afterwards we have a laugh as there are always some stories to tell.
“I would like to say a sincere thank you to Portrush Yacht Club for their invaluable support and encouragement as I progress with the 2022 Racing Season.”