Dinghy Racing Tactics: Sam Whaley and Jack Graham-Troll Case Study


Who are Sam and Jack?

Sam and Jack are both avid dinghy sailors, their love for the sport sparking from their families. They both started sailing from a young age and dreamt of sailing professionally full time. Winning races and seeing others succeed fuelled this love even more and made them determined to pursue a career in professional sailing. 

They deal with many challenges in their careers, with different scenarios, weather conditions and even personal physical characteristics that may limit them at points. However, through extensive training and working on their weaknesses they have been able to push through; winning the Waszp National Championships, placing in world championships and Laser 4.7 titles. Sam and Jack have big ambitions, both hoping to compete in the Olympics, the America’s Cup and to dominate in the Waszp or foiling boat scene.

Planning and preparation

Even if you feel as though you started late in racing, it's never actually too late to pursue your dreams and get into the position you aim for. Both Sam and Jack are testament to this as they both started racing when they were 11 and 13, so not as young as others. However, through pure determination they were able to get into squads and rise to the top. For both sailors, consistency and routine helped them succeed. Having a routine in place helps with reaching goals and ensuring everything is in place; being well prepared and doing the same thing each day keeps them on the right track. 

Sam and Jack admit that sailing in the colder months can be a challenge, if you’re not properly prepared, however sailing in the winter should not be a futile day. They recommend having an effective plan in place and knowing what you want to achieve from the day as this  is a great way of getting on and off the water in an efficient manner. Make sure to stay warm though, by dressing appropriately for the weather conditions and wearing the right kit, such as a dry suit. 

Other fantastic boating techniques from Sam and Jack include having a great mindset to push through the challenges, to never give up, even when the wind and water is a hurdle, and to stick to the goal. For boat speed, boat handling should be practised so that you feel confident on the water with manoeuvres being perfected and to ensure you keep improving you should also test the limits.

What do Jack and Sam think makes GJW Direct stand out from the rest?

Both Jack and Sam are sponsored by GJW Direct and have nothing but good words to say about the business. One thing that stood out to them was how friendly the staff are and how much the business cares about its customers.

In addition, the free digital boat organiser, MyBoat allows you to store all of your important documents in one handy place. On top of this, you can set tailored safety equipment reminders to give you peace of mind out on the water. With MyBoat, GJW Direct customers will also gain access to a range of exclusive offers and discounts from the likes of August Race, Yachts & Yachting and Sailing Chandlery

Do you want to find out more about Sam Whaley and Jack Graham-Troll’s story? Watch their case study video here.


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