Tom Barnes Interview

When and where did you start sailing?
I started sailing competitively 4 years ago. But before then went up through the ranks of the RYA courses achieving levels 1-4. 

Why did you start sailing?
I started dinghy sailing as we owned a yacht and I wanted to try dinghy sailing as well for fun. I never expected it to become this big.

Which club do you belong to?
I sail out of the Royal Torbay Yacht Club. But I also sail from Queen Mary when I train with Ethan in London.

How long have you been at the current club?
I have sailed at The Royal Torbay since I stated sailing so for about 5 years.

Do you have a history of sailing in your family?
My granddad on my mum’s side did a lot of sailing, so he taught my mum in the lake district. This led to her love of sailing. And my dad sailed in the Menai Straights when he was a boy.

What do you actually do? (tell me as if I’m from out of space and have no idea of the difference between a dinghy and a yacht)
I sail an RS Feva. Which is a small two-man Junior Dinghy. A dinghy is a small boat that has a dagger board not a keel. This gives it the ability to capsize. We compete in national events and train all around the country. We also compete in an international event a year.

How many times a week do you train on the water?  And off the water?
Due to the problems of location, Ethan & I aim to sail together as much as possible. We have been training with the RS feva Class National Squad and doing some ‘29er’ training as well. I race on Wednesday and some Saturdays at Torbay when I can. So around 10 times a month.

What are your ambitions, what are you trying to achieve, in 1 year, 5 years?
I aim to be in becoming competitive in the 29er in one year and in five years I would love to be sailing in a 29er squad.

Who is your role model/s? in the sailing world, other?
I think my role models in sailing would be Ben Ainslie as he won the Olympic games, and that is what I strive to do in the future if all goes to plan.

What’s your favourite fish?
My favourite fish is probably cod but I also like crab, mussels and prawns.

Any mishaps or funny stories from sailing/ on the boat?
I have fallen out many times and didn’t compete in the last world championships as I fell of my skateboard braking my arm the day before the event started.

Competition stats, info, what have you entered, won, achieved?
We qualified for RS Feva Class National Squad. We were selected for the America’s Cup Endeavour event representing GB and went on to win the live race. We qualified for gold fleet at the last National Championships but didn’t compete in the worlds due to an injury.

Currently studying in what year at which school?
I’m in year 10.

What will you do next in school (eg A’levels? Where?)
I am currently half way through Year 10 studying for my GCSE’s my chosen subjects are German, French and History, plus all the usual ones.

Your sailing club website

Who is your coach?
My feva squad coach is Steve Irish and we sometimes do 29er training with Will Alloway.

What competitions and training are coming up over the next 4 months
We have training in Hayling Island (last squad training of the year) and then we are participating in the National Championships at half-term which are in Weymouth and in the summer are the European Championships also in Weymouth.

If someone wanted to see you training could they? Where/how? 
If the weather is gnarly you watch mine and Ethan’s YouTube channel or if we were sailing locally you could watch from shore or maybe come on a rib.

What are your social media handles?
We have set up a new  team sailing Instagram @ethan_tom_sailing (definitely worth following ?) which we post updates on at trainings and events and also we have a YouTube account where we post edited videos of our training.

How did you meet Mitch?
We met Mitch because my parents and uncle were good friends with him. I first met Mitch at the Henry Bomby Event at Rockfish. Henry encouraged us to ask Mitch for sponsorship.

What does the sponsorship with us mean to you? ie what real difference will it make?
Your sponsorship means so means so much to us. It means we can spend more money on kit and the boat than we would ever have been able to, which enables us to travel around the country paying for fuel/ train fairs and accommodation and event/squad fees.

What’s your motto?
Race like you train. Train like you race.
It just means that if you give 100% when you train you will be able to perform 100% when you race


Ethan Gerrell Interview >

Connor Myers Interview >

Julia Barnes Interview >

Lauren Paton Interview >

Tom Barnes Interview >

Rhos Hawes Interview >

Morgan Peach Interview >