Please select your home edition
Edition
GJW 2018 728x90
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk
Product Feature
Zhik Womens MicroFleece Skiff
Zhik Womens MicroFleece Skiff

Two World Titles, One European, Two UK Nationals: A great 12 months for Nick Craig

by Mark Jardine 21 Jan 2018 12:00 GMT
Nick Craig & Alan Roberts win the Aspire Merlin Rocket Championship at Pwllheli © Andy Green / www.greenseaphotography.co.uk

Sometimes it all falls into place and sometimes it doesn't. 2017, and the beginning of 2018, have proved fruitful for Nick Craig. In the past 12 months Nick has won the OK Dinghy World Championship, the D-One Europeans, the Merlin Rocket UK Nationals, the B14 UK Nationals and most recently the B14 World Championship. We spoke to Nick at the London Boat Show 2018 to try and find the secret to his success.

Mark: Do you think this rates as your best 12 months ever?

Nick: Quite possibly! All the big events came together, and it doesn't happen often like that. It's been a brilliant year.

Mark: You sail a diverse range of boats with very different characteristics. How do you find switching between the different classes?

Nick: They're all hiking boats which helps – trapezing is a bit beyond me! The great thing with switching classes is that you take things from each one, learning new skills in each boat and from different sailors, and then take some of that to each class. There's a lot in common, but there are differences and it's important to know those, get used to them, and be quick to adapt, knowing what you need to change in your sailing style – especially the B14 as that's a very different type of sailing to the other classes I sail and has taken a while to work out.

Mark: How big a difference does it make having Toby Lewis as a crew?

Nick: He's a fantastic crew. His feel for a boat is tremendous and he's always in the right place at the right time, and when I'm in the wrong place he's already compensated for it. We worked out we've sailed together on and off for 19 years, which is longer than I've been with my wife! That familiarity means we move in unison and he makes up for my errors. This especially helps in the B14 where that touch round the boat is so critical – he's magic at that.

Mark: As an amateur sailor, do you choose your events carefully as I notice the venues have all been spectacular locations? Which is more important to you, the location or the event?

Nick: The location is an important factor, especially with family, and my wife gets a big say in where we're going. When you have an event in Australia and we were able to have a week in Sydney beforehand it makes it very appealing and it makes it much easier to do. If I can take the family to an event and we can have a bit of holiday it's much more manageable and everybody has a good time.

Mark: You always seem to have a grin on your face when you're sailing around the course. What's the aspect that you most enjoy about sailing?

Nick: There are so many things which I enjoy and that's probably why I love sailing; I love being outdoors, I love the competitive element, I love the learning element – sailing's a sport I've been doing for 35 years and I'm still learning new things and from other people. The social side is fun as well; we found the sailors in Australia so friendly and down-to-earth. All of those things combined make it such a great sport.

Mark: With the B14 Worlds you've had a great start to the year. What do you have lined up in 2018?

Nick: We're sailing the Merlin Rocket again as the racing is tremendous, I'll be doing the D-One Worlds in Austria – a country I've never raced it so that'll be fun in a really friendly fleet- and we're also doing the GP14 Worlds as it's in Mount's Bay which is a fantastic venue and makes for a good family holiday. The GPs have done a really good job of publicising the event with over 70 boats entered already and there will probably be over 100. We're looking forward to all of those events.

Mark: For the last few years Ben Saxton has dominated the Endeavour Trophy. Is he becoming your nemesis, or do you have the answer up your sleeve as to how you can regain the Champion of Champions title?

Nick: It'll be very hard to get past Ben; he's a full-time sailor and has 15 years on me in the right direction, especially in an RS200! He also likes a beer and some banter and comes to play in a variety of amateur classes so has a great attitude to the sport.

Mark: Best of luck with the year ahead – it was great to chat.

Nick: Thank you very much.

Related Articles

What does sailing mean to you?
We'll be publishing the most inspiring stories to help weather the storm Things feel pretty strange at the moment. We're going through unprecedented and tough times. Haven't we all dreamed about getting on a boat and sailing away from it all? Sailing is what keeps us going! Posted today at 10:24 am
The newest fast 30, by Farr
The Mumm 30 as it was originally known, was designed by Farr The Mumm 30 as it was originally known, was designed by Farr. This is another crackerjack 30-footer from Farr Yacht Design; this time in conjunction with Bret Perry's Hyperform Yachting. Posted on 29 Mar
Calling all boat bimblers!
Show us what you've been up to this winter, or are doing now! If you have spent the winter engrossed in boat DIY, whether it was small modifications or massive rebuilds, YachtsandYachting.com would love to hear from you. We think it's time to share your story with the world. Posted on 26 Mar
Hannah Mills podcast
Sarah Heron talks to the Olympian about the Big Plastic Pledge A few weeks ago I spoke to Hannah Mills, Olympian and eco-crusader whose initiative Big Plastic Pledge aims to eradicate single use plastic in sport. Posted on 24 Mar
Man the galley!
Normally, that phrase would read 'Man the Pumps!' Normally, that phrase would read ‘Man the Pumps!' Yet this week's headline flows on from your overwhelming support for last week's editorial That sinking feeling... Posted on 22 Mar
Sailing adjusts to a Coronavirus world
Andy Rice & Mark Jardine discuss worldwide sailing events Andy Rice & Mark Jardine discuss a rapidly changing world held in the grip of coronavirus, and celebrate the fact that the 18ft skiffs still competed on Sydney Harbour for the JJ Giltinan Trophy. Posted on 20 Mar
In conversation with Jon Partridge
From Swallows & Amazons to RS Sailing's co-MD From Swallows & Amazons style sailing on the Norfolk Broads to become the co-Managing Director of RS Sailing, Jon Partridge has risen through the ranks and is deeply passionate about sailing, and in particular the RS Feva class. Posted on 19 Mar
Core values
Hans Eckerström's vision for Henri-Lloyd's future Henri-Lloyd was originally founded in 1963 in Manchester by Henri Strzelecki and Angus Lloyd and pioneered the use of new technologies. In June 2018 the brand was acquired by Swedish investment company Aligro Group, we spoke to Chairman Hans Eckerström... Posted on 19 Mar
Don't let it get to you, go for a sail
There is no doubt we're going through a very difficult time There is no doubt we're going through a very difficult time due to the COVID-19 disease. Our way of life is having to change and sports events around the world are being cancelled by the hour. Posted on 16 Mar
That sinking feeling
I wonder if Australia and the Pacific could be set to be the epicentre of sailing As the world slides further into the pandemic that is COVID-19, I could not help to wonder if Australia and the Pacific could be set to be the epicentre of world sailing for a little while. Posted on 15 Mar