Julia Barnes Interview

When and where did you start sailing? 
I started sailing by sailing my family's yacht which was fun but most of the time I would just go into one of the bedrooms and sleep, not actually sail. 

I first sailed a dinghy when we went on a holiday to Greece. As we were staying in a big resort, we got booked into the dreaded kids club, which I eventually ended up really enjoying. One part of the club was sailing and even though I was just sat in the boat clinging on to the mast it was my first experience of dinghy sailing. 

Why did you start sailing?
I am pretty sure I started because my twin brother Tom was doing it. Tom and I are naturally quite competitive and I would never let him experience something I hadn't as well! 

Which club do you belong to? 
I belong to RTYC, Royal Torbay Yacht Club

How long have you been at the current club?
I've been at this club as long as I have been sailing. So probably about 4/5 years or longer. 

Do you have a history of sailing in your family?
Kind of, but it’s not as if my family really went anywhere with sailing. My mum’s side of the family often had summer trips up to the Lake District, where they would mess around with boats. My grandpa was probably the biggest sailor, he did a few competitions in Enterprises.

What do you actually do?
I sail a reasonably small plastic dinghy for two people called a RS Feva. It comes out of the water every time we sail. Eloise & I can pull it up the slipway. The mast goes up and down in about 20 minutes so that we can tow it around the country. It has 3 sails, the main, the large triangle furthest back in the boat, the jib, the slightly smaller triangle at the front, and the spinnaker, the huge multi coloured sail that pops out the front on a pole. We train and race in it across the world. 

How many times a week do you train on the water?
In the summer, I sail every Saturday, Wednesday and some Fridays and Sundays. In the winter I try where we can to sail at the weekend. 

And off the water?
I try to train most days doing fitness, and I do extra fitness in a lunchtime in school. 

What are your ambitions, what are you trying to achieve, in 1 year, 5 years 

This summer I would like to be top 15 at the Nationals and Europeans, and top three girls, if not ‘first girls’ as well. In 5 years I hope to be racing at the front of the fleet in my new boat a ‘29er’. 

Who is your role model/s? in the sailing world, other?
For sailing, probably someone like Ben Ainsley, but my biggest role model for as long as i can remember is Jessica Ennis-Hill. I think she tries really hard to get what she wants out of life, I really respect that and it is something I am trying to do.

What’s your favourite fish?  
Calamari. 

Any mishaps or funny stories from sailing/ on the boat?
I am normally a relatively clumsy person, so if you put me in a boat I am likely to go swimming! One of the funniest was definitely when I first sailed with Lauren. Neither of us were great at the time and we didn't really know what we were doing. It got a bit blowy, so we both started hiking. Lauren had missed the toe straps and got caught in the spinnaker halliard. She was hanging in the water by her ankle for a good 2 minutes before we managed to get her back in the boat. I don't think we had ever laughed so much in our lives. I sailed with Lauren for 3 and a bit years, but we decided to separate and I now sail with Eloise who I also have a lot of fun with. 

Competition stats, info, what have you entered, won, achieved?
Lauren and I held the title of Ladies World Champions in 2016 in Santander. Eloise holds that title for the 2017 world championships. 

I was the Wales & West Regional winner of the OCS Young Sportsperson of the Year 2017and took part in the final in London last autumn.

Eloise & I had a good squad qualifiers and are now in the Class National Squad. Starting off a new year in a new partnership is hard when you’re aiming to be at the very top of the fleet, but I would say we are fairly consistent, performing very well in training and competitions. 

Currently studying in what year at which school?
I am in year 10 at school, the fourth year of secondary and a good way into my gcse course. 

What will you do next in school (eg A’levels? Where?)
I am currently on my GCSE course ready to take them in a years time.  

Who is your coach?
Steve Irish is our main squad coach with help from Alice. And we have had extra coaching in the 29er from Will Alloway. 

What competitions and training are coming up over the next 4 months? 
Nationals, Inlands, Europeans and some smaller Grand Prixs. 

If someone wanted to see you training could they? Where/how?  
In the Feva, You could potentially see us training at RTYC most weekends or on Wednesdays in the summer, however we travel a lot all over the country especially in racing season so it might be hard to catch us. Now, you might see Tom & I getting some practice in the 29er at Torbay. 

How did you meet Mitch?
My mum and uncle were friends with him. He showed us how to make courgette crisps at the Seahorse. 

What does the sponsorship with us mean to you?
It definitely means that we don't have to worry as much about financial things, and it means that we have something to be proud of, that some one believes in us! 

What’s your motto?
Hahaha, I'm not really sure maybe something like, Live life- it’s the only one you've got... 

 

 

 

Ethan Gerrell Interview >

Connor Myers Interview >

Julia Barnes Interview >

Lauren Paton Interview >

Tom Barnes Interview >

Rhos Hawes Interview >

Morgan Peach Interview >