April 27, 2018 2 min read

My First RYA Youth Nationals

We speak to Jamie Cook, 3 time Optimist national champion about his transition into the 420 and his first RYA Youth Nationals.

Can you tell us a little about yourself please?

I’m Jamie Cook, the current Optimist national champion. I’ve sailed since I was 6 from Cardiff Bay. Recently, I have transitioned into the 420 with former topper sailor Ioan Davies.

You’ve just come back from your first RYA Youth Nationals in Largs, how was the event?

At my first Rya youth nationals we had a tough time as we lacked a bit of racing practise in the medium to light range conditions due to a heavy wind winter. It’s certainly difficult racing against sailors up to 18 years old as they have a lot of experience. We didn’t sail on the first two days due to heavy winds and our beat results came on the last day with two tens. It felt good to leave on a positive note and we have a lot to move on with.

You’ve been in the 420 now for number of months after transitioning from an Optimist, how are you finding the boat?

I’m finding the 420 very exciting and it’s nice to say that I learn something new every time I sail the boat. Hopefully we can get up to full speed in the boat soon and compete amongst the best in the fleet. I certainly enjoyed to 420 in the winter compared to the oppie as your always on your toes and active.

What’s it like sailing with a crew?

Sailing with a crew is challenging coming from a single hander. Communication is so important and staying coordinated is hard but it’s all part of the fun and challenge that comes with the 420.

What tips would you give other sailors looking to go to the Youth Nationals?

My main tip would be to make sure you and your boat are fully prepared and completely ready to race, making sure you check everything over for wear and damage before you get to the venue. The last thing you want is something breaking on you!

What do you think the best bit of kit is that you have on your 420?

I think the best bit of kit on the 420 is the adjustable spreaders and chock system as it allows you to change the shape of the sail so easily and can be done on the water. It’s hard getting your head around all the controls in a 420 but that’s what I enjoy about the boat.

What events do you have planned for this year?

Our plan is to do the French and British nationals over the summer, with lots of training in between then come September we’ll be back into all the British events and training in preparation for next years RYA Youth Nationals.

How does the partnership with Sailing Chandlery help support your sailing?

Sailing Chandlery has been an awesome sponsor, they have helped me to rig and prepare the boat with all the best ropes and blocks. Having a boat that is well set up makes everything around the race course easier and more simple. Thanks!


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