Bricket Wood sailor Sophie's sporting chance
SCHOOLGIRL sailor Sophie Dingwall is in the mix for a top sporting award next week. Sophie, 16, who lives in Bricket Wood, beat off stiff competition to become joint winner in the London East region of the OCS Young Sports Person Awards. Next Thursday (No
SCHOOLGIRL sailor Sophie Dingwall is in the mix for a top sporting award next week.
Sophie, 16, who lives in Bricket Wood, beat off stiff competition to become joint winner in the London East region of the OCS Young Sports Person Awards.
Next Thursday (November 26), accompanied by mum Janis and dad Brett, she will travel to the Oval to collect her award and hear who has won the overall prize.
Then it will be only a matter of weeks before the Dingwall family fly off to Argentina where Sophie will be competing in the World Championships with her crew, 14-year-old Chris Sycamore.
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In July this year Sophie and Chris took second place in the cadet class of the European Championships in Spain in the boat her father, a boat builder by profession, built when he was a boy.
He had constructed it in his mother's sitting room at their home in Radlett when he was 15 but sold it two years later. He lost track of it for years and asked friends in the sailing world if they had any idea where it had gone.
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Then he got a call to say the boat was on sale on eBay and, even though he was fighting leukaemia at the time, he bought it back and restored it for Sophie to use.
Sophie's success is a great source of pride to her parents but particularly Brett who feared he would not live long enough to see her sail in the boat.
His condition had deteriorated to the extent that the last hope of getting the leukaemia into remission was an unlicensed drug Mylotarg which at first he could not get funding for.
But after a high-profile campaign, the Primary Care Trust agreed to fund it and Brett's leukaemia went into remission allowing him to have a life-saving bone marrow transplant.
Sophie is a pupil at Parmiter's School in Garston and she and Chris sail at Fishers Green Sailing Club in Waltham Abbey.
Janis Dingwall said this week that Sophie was only the second sailor to be nominated in the OCS awards since it started but the successful sailor in 2002 Hannah Mills was now in the Olympic Development Squad - and Olympic Gold is Sophie's dream.
She added: "We are really proud of Sophie and it is especially nice that she can get to achieve these things in her dad's old boat which she is very protective about.