Jamie Young is the First Irish Entry in the Global Solo Challenge
Jamie Young is the first entry in the Global Solo Challenge (GSC) from Ireland. With an amazing 200,000 nautical miles sailed at all latitudes, Jamie has also worked professionally in the late ’70’s on the Maxi series in the USA as well as having taken part in the notorious 1976 OSTAR when an amazing 125 boats lined up for the start.
WHERE DOES YOUR PASSION FOR SAILING COME FROM?
Itchy feet. First experience was when I was approx. 9/10 in N Ireland on a boat belonging to a Cousin – Wallace Clark of ‘Snow Goose’ fame, though not that. While none of my parents nor siblings have the fainted interest, I was hooked after that first sail and was an utter disappointment to my family in trying to chase that goal instead of getting a ‘proper job’.
And it has not just been sailing but other marine/wind activity as outlined below that includes: sea kayaking – kite surfing – small and large boat sailing voyages in demanding water in the Arctic and Antarctic.
WHAT ARE THE LESSONS YOU LEARNT FROM SAILING?
You never defeat or conquer nature – you might be let go after a terrifying experience that also offers exhilaration – fear – terror – calmness – relief – reflection – even boredom at times, but all the senses are woken and redirected from just being a cog in Homo Economicus.
Your fellow crew can also show heights and depths of human nature and teaches all how to live in or with that cake mix of ingredients and accept the rough and smooth edges that exist in us all.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO LIKE SINGLE-HANDED SAILING?
An unappreciated range of benefits at the time after taking part in the 1976 OSTAR has stood me in good stead since. Self reliance – confidence – ability to work through problems slowly and carefully – even being more close to natural influences that are our 6th sense…..
Saying that, this event will be a challenge to be solo for so long but why wouldn’t you like the opportunity to sail RTW…..
WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO SIGN UP FOR THIS EVENT?
Primarily, because I could participate in my own boat and keep the budget reasonable. I will be using my pension as source of the funds unless I can procure others, but what else was I saving for….!
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO PREPARE FOR THIS EVENT?
First, to make the boat as bullet proof and easy to sail as possible on the principle of: to finish first (Or well.) – first you have to finish.
Second, time on the water to explore what will make 1. work.
I will however seek to improve my well used body that include a few spare parts but I believe I am mentally stable enough to deal with most things that will inevitably occur.
WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Sourcing funds is always a challenge and there is little history in Ireland of finding support for these sorts of experiences – but we will get there.
Being solo will have its highs and lows for sure but the amount of digital stuff now that is part of sailing – even on a fairly ‘simple’ challenge such as this – comms/instruments/electrical/etc, can be a challenge in itself…..
My first few trans-Atlantics were in very simple boats – no engine/toilet – just bucket and chuck it/no VHF or other radio – just sextant and dead reckoning with paper charts…. forgotten most of it now.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BOAT OR THE BOAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE?
I have owned Killary Flyer for over 20 of her 40 odd years and have full confidence in her to keep us both safe and do well in a RTW. She was built in UK by a company called ‘Joyce Marine’ of Lymington – disappeared – of alloy to a Frers design as a 2-ton IOR class boat. Being alloy – which was a conscious choice – I regard her as nearly 100% recyclable, as long as she keeps floating! – and that will be part of my campaign message. Renew – reuse – repair instead of constant use of the planets diminishing resources.
She will be a handful at times, but I plan to improve systems and make her easier to sail for a pensioner on the principle of ‘Any fool can be uncomfortable’.
Are there other boats I would like – maybe – but it is not really a critical factor.
DO YOU INTEND TO LINK THIS PERSONAL CHALLENGE WITH A SOCIAL MESSAGE?
Already mentioned is the issue of: renew – reuse – repair so this will be a plank of this project and after 3 trips to Greenland – twice in this boat – I have seen first hand the dramatic climatic changes and consequential social changes that are rapidly taking place in the Arctic – this will subsequently affect us all and appears to be already with the hottest year on record just been.
In addition, I hope to be able to create some further support stream for the creation and build of an Irish sailing Trust vessel – none presently – to provide both a trading and trainee experience based on the new world of ‘Sail Trading’ – where trainees help sail a wind driven trading vessel and learn not only those skills but transferable skills in commerce and digital platforms.
Quite a mouthful…
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD?
‘You always have to go too far to get anywhere at all – in art as life’ Francis Bacon…
SAILING MILESTONES AND PALMARES
2019 – A Greenland Story
2013 – North of Disko Expedition
2012 – Round Rockall Race
2008 – Three Peaks Yacht Race
2007 – The Azores & Back Race
2006 – Gaelforce Events
2002 – South Pole Ice Kite Expedition
2000 – Launch of K2.
1996 – “South Aris”: Irish Antarctica
1993 – Guinea Bissau Sea Kayak
1990 – Development of Killary Lodge into
22 room Special Interest Base.
1989 – Irish Cape Horn Sea Kayak
1987 – 1st Irish Adventure Marathon
1988/98 – Gay Byrne/RTE Survival Week
1980 – Little Killary Adventure Centre
1977/79 – USA 80’ Maxi Racing Yacht
1977 – 24ft Junk Rigged ‘Jester’ Boat
Delivery to US
1976 – The Observer Single-Handed
Transatlantic Race. O.S.T.A.R.
1974 – Storm Passage Expedition
1969/78 – John Ridgeway School of Adventure
1972 – 45 M Sail Training Ship ‘Malcolm
ABOUT THE BOAT
Boat Name: KILLARY FLYER
· Sail Number: IRL 933
· Model: IOR 2 Ton – 1979 – 14.7 M – alloy – MH sloop. Frers Design.
· Year built: 1979
· LOA: 48.3
· Displacement: 14,100 kgs
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