Please select your home edition
Edition
McConaghy 2022 - MC63p & MC75 LEADERBOARD
Product Feature
Seldén PBB50 CHEEK BLOCK
Seldén PBB50 CHEEK BLOCK

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

Just a second
Hull 1 of the Farr X2 has lost its keel offshore - the remains have washed up Hull #1 of the Farr X2 has lost its keel offshore, and the remains have washed up on a beach on the South Coast of NSW. Mercifully, the two sailors on board are alive, and subsequently had a wee sojourn in hospital to ensure all is well. Posted on 3 Jul
14s Forever
Nothing lasts forever.... unless you're an International 14 The International 14 would bring the giants of 'between the wars' dinghy design, Morgan-Giles, Thornycroft and Fox, to the fore whilst at the same time laying the foundations of sailing competition on the international stage. Posted on 1 Jul
Understanding safety onboard
With Ocean Safety Ambassador Dee Caffari MBE and Ocean Safety MD Alistair Hackett YachtsandYachting.com's Mark Jardine talks to Ocean Safety Ambassador Dee Caffari MBE and Ocean Safety MD Alistair Hackett to get a better understanding of the safety features needed onboard yachts. Posted on 29 Jun
The utterly brilliant Foiling SuMoth Challenge
Promoting sustainable practices by challenging young naval architecture and engineering students The Foiling SuMoth Challenge is a competition inspired by the need of a more sustainable and efficient sailboat designs and manufacturing methods. Posted on 28 Jun
A Fine Line
Dinghy historian Dougal Henshall looks at race officers and start lines As the world around us reblooms after the constraints of lockdown, there is plenty of food for thought surrounding the debate as to something of a reset for dinghy racing. Older sailors talk in nostalgic terms of the delights of the 'golden era'. Posted on 22 Jun
Not just another...
…case of miscellaneous ramblings. You might say that, but you could well have missed the point. …case of miscellaneous ramblings. I mean, yes, you might say that, but you could well have missed the point right there. Posted on 20 Jun
How high is too high?
Is the price of a new Moth an existential threat to the class? Inflation, the cost of living, energy and travel costs are all weighing heavily on people's minds around the world. Sailing is in no way insulated from the problems in the world at the moment. Posted on 14 Jun
The road to responsibility
It's easier said than done Achieving the goal of becoming a responsible technical clothing brand is hard. If it was easy then every manufacturer would do it in an instant and shout from the tallest building that their clothing was 100% green, carbon neutral and recyclable. Posted on 8 Jun
Short and sweet.
A bit of a departure from some, for sure, but never fear. Well this particular missive certainly will be. Yes. I know. A bit of a departure from some, for sure, but never fear. It does not mean anything, other than this is just shorter… Posted on 5 Jun
Timeless designs
It's hard to believe that two of the most popular dinghies were designed over 50 years ago It's hard to believe that two of the most popular dinghies were designed over 50 years ago. Between the Hobie 16 and the ILCA over 350,000 have been produced; what is even more remarkable is that they are still going strong. Posted on 31 May