How did you get into sailing
At age 8 my Nan asked if I wanted to try sailing at South Cerney Sailing Club, my local lake. I absolutely loved it and sailed cadets almost every weekend at the club.
My first cadet
The first cadet I owned was ‘Izzy fast – 6977’ and then ‘Fantasy – 8407’. I raced in many over the years and loved my time in these ones. So much so they are still in the garage at home!
Best experience sailing cadets
Argentina World Championships in 2009 was my most memorable event. Travelling so far afield to race cadets was amazing
A day to forget
The first day I got my new cadet I managed to put a hole in the bow! I was so upset as I had been waiting all winter to sail it.
Who inspired you throughout your cadet journey
Although they aren’t sailors themselves my parents were always an inspiration for me through my cadet journey. With limited knowledge of the racing they always encouraged me to do what I enjoyed and never pressured me in to it. I think the inspiration to do what I enjoyed helped a lot throughout cadets and all the sailing I do because when it comes down to it you’re simply out sailing having a great time. There’s plenty of places less fun than that!
Best venue racing cadets
I always enjoyed racing at Flanders over in Belgium. It was a great event abroad that wasn’t too far from the UK and always offered great conditions. Strong winds, strong waves, strong tide. It had it all except for a long sail out.
Sailing after cadets
In my final year of cadets I began sailing a 420 and progressed through the youth squads in a 420 finishing 3rd at the Youth Championships in 2013. After 420’s I naturally progressed in to 470’s and then transitioned across to the 49er which I crew now as part of the British Sailing Team having won the U.23 European Championships 2017. I am currently sailing the 49er as part of an Olympic campaign with the aim of a medal in the 2024 Olympics.
What did cadets teach me
The support network involved in the cadets from all the ex-sailors/ coaches/ boat builders/ enthusiastic parents resulted in an environment where you couldn’t not learn. Other than the sailing specific knowledge over the years the main lesson I got was how to sail with another person and understand them. Understanding the person you’re sailing with and having faith in them is crucial to progress yourself.
Advice to myself
If I had to give myself any advice during cadets it would be to learn how to check the boat over before something broke. The number of sessions I lost on the water because an old rope broke was a disaster. If only I realised that if I replaced some ropes before the broke I can spend more time out sailing.
Wooden or plastic?
Wooden cadets without a doubt! They have far more personality except I won’t miss using the bucket after a capsize.