A famous Dover face – Hugh Styles

Hugh Styles is a former Sailing World Champion and Olympian passionate about performance sport, now working as an elite coach helping athletes to achieve multiple podium successes.


The Dover-born 2000 Summer Olympian managed to take time out of his busy schedule to discuss his love of sailing, career highlights and fondest memories of our town…


CommunityAd Exclusive - A famous Dover face – Hugh StylesWhat is your earliest memory of sailing and when did you realise you wanted to pursue a career in the sport? 

Sailing an optimist dinghy in Dover Harbour. It was a little single handed boat and my dad tied a long line to it so I was able to go sailing around.

Who would you say were your biggest role models and influences growing up that helped bring the best out of you? 

My father Martyn, who coached sailors at our club and across the whole of Kent and Sussex. He was a fantastic sailor and an even better coach and would help me work out how to improve and enjoy my sport.


If you could pick three of your biggest moments from your career, what would they be and why? 

  1. Winning the ILCA 7 European Championships in 1997 beating all of the Olympic medallists from the 1996 games in the process.
  2. Representing Team GB at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the best games of all time.
  3. Helping the Cannonball race team to win the Rolex Giraglia Regatta Inshore and Offshore in 2023.


You have achieved major success as a coach, what would you say has been your proudest moment as a coach and what do you enjoy most about coaching? 

Helping my athlete win an Olympic silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. I enjoy helping athletes and teams master their performances.

How would you compare the current state of British sailing now compared to when you competed and would you say the future is bright for sailing in the UK? 

British sailing is in a solid position currently, the system is well established and they are well resourced.


What are you up to now and how can local readers keep up to date with your career? 

I am a professional racing coach, working with high performance racing sailors and teams, competing in anything from a dinghy to a super yacht, cutting edge race boat (with a team of 30 plus professional sailors).

I coach for the following circuits:


What did you enjoy most about living in Dover?

I had a great education at Dover Grammar School for Boys, through which I was able to further my love for engineering and my sport of sailing.

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