Meet Team Yeti Sailing
Team Yeti consists of brothers Jack, Freddie, and Charlie Davies and friends. We caught up with skipper Jack following their trophy haul at AAM Cowes Week to discuss training tactics, kit picks and championship goals.
Congratulations on your winning performances at Cowes Week. What were the team’s most memorable moments?
As with every Cowes Week there were so many highlights, both on and off the water. This year was special for us though; our most memorable moments were definitely managing to finish 3rd in the very first race after starting in last place, sneaking in front of our two closest rivals just moments from the finish line in a five hour race on Thursday and finally crossing the finish line in the final race to secure our regatta win!
Off the water we had a great time too. Fireworks night was brilliant and the Musto’s Antigua-themed party was a great laugh too!
How did you all get in to sailing?
We got into sailing when we were young kids in Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. We were taught to sail Optimist dinghies from the age of 8 and as soon as we were old enough we would join in with races, even racing against each other!
Many of our family sail and they would encourage us to get out on the water with them as much as possible too. From a young age we crewed on our grandfather’s XOD, a classic sailing boat, and we still do this from time to time.
What is your favourite piece of sailing kit to race in?
We were very fortunate to be completely kitted out in Musto gear for Cowes Week. I was a huge fan of the LPX GORE-TEX® Jacket as it is perfect for summer sport boat sailing, being thin and light but entirely waterproof. The design is also great. Freddie and Charlie are really pleased with their MPX GORE-TEX® Race Lite Smocks which keep them dry at the front of the boat. I’d also recommend the Crew Soft Shell Sailing Jacket as a good additional layer providing warmth on the water and also as an ideal shore jacket.
So how often do you guys train?
Training is vital to making sure we can be near the front of the fleet in the J/70 class. During the summer, when Freddie and Charlie are not at university, we look to put in 1-2 training days before every big regatta. This is more difficult outside the summer when the team are scattered around at university or at work. Alongside training we also try to use small regattas as an opportunity to train ourselves up ahead of bigger ones.
As part of our support from Musto this year, we were very lucky to be given a training day with Annie Lush of The Magenta Project. The session with Annie made a world of difference to our sailing this Cowes Week. Her wealth of sailing experience from Olympic and Volvo Ocean Race campaigns really showed, and she was able to immediately revolutionise various aspects of our sailing, including our pre-start routine, sail trim and weight distribution.
What are the positives and negatives of competing with your brothers?
Sailing with your family is generally a great experience, especially in a competitive context. The positives of sailing as a set of brothers includes the fact that we know each other so well that we naturally work as a team very effectively. We also feel comfortable relying upon and trusting each other. As the helmsman, I am lucky to have Freddie and Charlie on the boat because each of them brings a high level of skill in different areas. Charlie is a superb bowman and Freddie is a fantastic kite and jib trimmer.
There are some downsides, the biggest is that it can sometimes be tricky to keep our emotions in check if things are going badly. Since we are so familiar with each other, we can unwittingly allow things to get heated, which is not useful. We are getting better at controlling this though!
What’s next for Team Yeti?
The future is exciting for the team at this stage! Our next big event is a trip to Plymouth for the J/70 Nationals where we will look to achieve a top 5 overall finish, a big ask for a youth team. We will then come back to Cowes for a few regattas in the autumn, before getting stuck into next year and building up to the 2017 J/70 World Championship in Sardinia!
Good luck to Team Yeti, they certainly have a bright future and we look forward to following their progress.