Masters eyes a place in Rio to ease his pain
CLEVEDON windsurfer Ali Masters insists 2012 was a year to forget after being messed around by the International Sailing Federation.
At the age of just 21, London 2012 was always going to come too soon for Masters with Nick Dempsey taking the sole windsurfing spot at the Games and going on to win silver.
But Masters has long been thought of as one to watch for Rio 2016, having been the heir apparent to Dempsey's throne for several years.
However, that was almost taken away from him when the ISAF ruled that windsurfing would be scratched from the Olympic programme after London 2012 to make way for kitesurfing.
This was announced in May, but by November windsurfing had been reinstated following a protest, but Masters admits he is finding it hard to be too happy about it all after wasting time and money in the process.
Master, who benefits from being a member of the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes programme, said: "2012 was a bit of a testing year and one to forget really after all that happened with windsurfing.
"In May, it was announced that windsurfing would be taken away for kitesurfing, but then in November it was back.
"It was frustrating though because in the six months in between I had gotten up to speed on kitesurfing and spent £6,000 on equipment.
"I didn't really mind which one was going to be in the Olympics for Rio because I was confident that I had time to do kitesurfing if that was to be kept in.
"But to have wasted six months on learning it and all that money on buying equipment for it to go back to windsurfing was annoying."
After this debacle, Masters is understandably putting his oceanography degree at Plymouth University first this year.
But with the European Championships looming large on the horizon in July, he is adamant he won't get himself too buried in his books.
"My main goal at the start of 2013 is to concentrate on my degree as I want to complete that and focus on that first," he added.
"But there are also the Europeans in early July this year so there are things for me to look forward to and, hopefully, I can show what I can do there."
Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, provides support and funding to 346 of Britain's most talented developing athletes on their journey to London 2012 and beyond.