FORMER British sailing team member Megan Pascoe has set her sights on this year’s World Championships, despite challenges facing the sport.

With the news that sailing has been cut from the Paralympic games in 2020, and the partial cut to funding, Pascoe has spoken about how important it was to her to have a successful 2016.

She said: “It was a nice end to 2016 and to the Paralympic campaign for me. To come away as winner of the World Championships in January, and then have reasonable attempt at the disabled ones in May, before winning the European Championship beating the person who won gold in Rio was very nice.

“It was good to know the last 13 or 14 years have been worth the effort put in.

“I’ve left the British sailing team because the funding has stopped and there is no Paralympic events in 2020.

“Hopefully it could come back for the Olympics in 2024 but for now I’m focusing on working in my first proper job ever!”

Because of the cuts in funding, Pascoe, who still resides in Portland, has taken on a new full-time role where she makes mobile phone cases, but insists her heart is very much still on the water.

She said: “Sailing will never stop for me.

“Sailing as a sport, and Weymouth & Portland (sailing academy) are a huge part of my life.

“Working full-time is what I need to do to do the sailing I want, and now that I’m training as an amateur rather than professionally, it’s actually nice to get on the water.”

But Pascoe still has big plans for the year ahead.

“I’ve taken on a new sponsor as well so that’s exciting and now it’s just about moving forward.

“We have the World Championships in Holland at the end of June which is a big focus to see if I can retain my title. It’ll be very difficult but a lot of fun.

“We have some UK events coming up too, the Delta Lloyd Regatta in May is one of the big ones on the circuit and is a nice one to go to, so that will be a nice preparation for the Worlds.

“I’m just trying to enjoy my life around sailing.

“It’s an exciting year for me but my priorities have certainly switched round.”