Olympic Stories

Hannah Mills - Sailing

Hannah Mills - Sailing

Born February 29, 1988 in Cardiff, Wales, UK, Hannah Mills is a top-ranked British sailor and one half of the Great Britain 470 Women’s class sailing team for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Along with partner Saskia Clark, Hannah Mills hopes to put all doubts to rest and bring home the gold for GB in a sport she has excelled at since a child.

Getting her start in Cardiff at only 8 years of age, Hannah used to sail around the Llanishen Sailing Centre. She was such a talent to be so young that it wasn’t long until the Welsh National Squad came calling. Years later, Mills has a chance to represent her country and to add Olympic Gold to her already impressive resume.

Sporting Career

Hannah Mills’ official start in competitive sailing came after moving up to the Welsh National Squad, but by that time she was already a very accomplished young sailor. In 2001, Hannah sent shockwaves through the world of competitive sailing world when she won the British Optimist Championships. It hasn’t always been an uphill climb from that point, but Hannah has consistently done very well in competitive matches across the globe since she started sailing.

Mills is known not only for her impressive, undeniable talents, but also for being very charming – a true celebrity personality. Her skills, coupled with her unique, uninhibited personality, earned her two major acclaims in 2002: the UK Young Sailor of the Year, and the BBC Wales Young Sports Personality of the Year.

Not resting on her laurels, Hannah continued to compete where ever she could enter. In 2003, Mills took gold in the Optimist girls class. Of course, still very young, Hannah was technically a youth sailor. But as soon as she could enter the women’s races, she did. In 2006, Mills bested an impressive field and won gold in the Palma 420 Women’s class event.

Although Olympic Gold is a certainty for no one, taking first in her respective class would be the ideal evolution of Mills’ career to date. Coming through the ranks as a promising junior, becoming the first ever Briton to win the Optimist Girls’ World Championship, Mills has little left to prove save Olympic glory.

Along with partner Katrina Hughes, Mills won World and European competitions; and now teamed up with Saskia Clark, success seems imminent. The two won silver at the Hyeres World Cup this past April, only the team’s second regatta together, and their silver in the Skandia Sail for Gold event and silver in the Olympic Test Event just further prove that Hannah, if anything, is a fantastic sailor. As the team prepares for the 470 in London this summer, there is a sense of calm confidence knowing that they have home field advantage (so to speak), and that most in attendance will be rooting for the Britons wholeheartedly. 

Career Highlights

  • 2001 British Optimist Championships – Gold
  • 2003 Optimist Girls Class – Gold
  • 2006 Women’s 470 Class, Palma – Gold
  • 2011 Olympic Test Event – Silver
  • 2011 Skandia Sail for Gold – Silver
  • 2012 Summer Olympics – Silver

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