Hannah Mills - the 'enigma'

The Daily Sail takes a look at one of Britain's most promising young sailors
“She’s an enigma really”. This is the first piece of explanation Alan Williams, Hannah Mills’ Optimist coach, divulges to thedailysail. The Welsh schoolgirl put her marker down last year, when aged 15 she finished fifth at the Optimist World Championships - top girl and top British sailor, ever. So is this a sign of promising things to come? “I am quite clear really,” says Williams who coaches the Welsh Optimist squad and is Principle at the Plas Menai National Watersports Centre, “although I am biased too. I would say that she is one of the best junior sailors we have produced for many, many years. Her prospects for the future with the right support, the right coaching…well, she can go as far as it is possible to go in sailing, I have no doubt about that.” Mills took up sailing on family holidays in Cornwall, but does not come from a sailing family. “We used to live in Cornwall,” she says, “and every summer we used to go there for a couple of weeks and my brother used to sail there, but I wasn’t allowed as I wasn’t old enough. Finally I was allowed and I really enjoyed it. Then I came back to Cardiff and learnt how to sail properly.” When we speak to Mills she is in the middle of watching Snatch on DVD, taking a breather in the middle of her GCSE examinations. Her mocks in September went well, even though she had to cram them into a week after being away at the 420 Worlds in Australia, and she seems confident about getting the right grades this summer. Mills find Physics “very easy” and is looking forward to going onto A Levels at her school. Having already dismissed early career dreams of being a doctor or a lawyer, Mills is