Nikki targets Rio after national and Euro glory

Nikki Boniface
Nikki Boniface

Catamaran sailor Nikki Boniface has continued to rack up a string of successes following her move from Youth to Senior sailing.

The 19-year-old Eastbourne sailor was recently crowned Dart 18 National Champion and Formula 16 European Champion sailing with new partner Tom Phipps, from Cornwall.

With the Catamaran back in the Olympics for 2016 in the form of the new and high-tech Nacra 17, this exciting form of sailing is sure to create an interesting spectacle at the next games.

Nikki, who learnt to sail at Pevensey Bay Sailing Club and continues to practise there, made the difficult move out of the RYA Youth Squad system after winning the Spitfire Catamaran National Championship in September last year.

Nikki has now set her sights firmly on Rio in 2016. She has represented GBR for three consecutive years at Youth level, and with her first ISAF Youth World Championships being staged in Rio in 2009, her ambition is to revisit the venue.

Nikki and Tom headed for Bridlington on the East Yorkshire coast to compete in the Dart 18 Nationals at the end of July.

This was their first competition sailing together but increasing consistency throughout the week ensured victory on the last day.

Two weeks later, the new team headed for Lake Como in Italy for the Formula 16 European Championship. In completely contrasting conditions, Nikki and Tom dominated the fleet of 45 boats from seven different countries.

They led from start to finish and were crowned European Champions after six days of hard competition.

RIGHT: Eastbourne’s Nikki Boniface celebrates more sailing success