As current 420 youth world champions, Otto Henry (RSYS) and Rome Featherstone are in fine form to defend their title in Texas next week.
The teammates have competed together since September 2016 and have rapidly ascended through the 420 fleet despite living on opposite sides of the country. Otto and Rome place a focus on their boat handling and race tactics during training blocks in the lead up to regattas and have achieved exceptional results, placing first in seven of the ten regattas they have attended together. These results include 1st at the Youth Sailing World Championships 2017 in the 420 division, 1st at the Australian Youth 420 Championships 2018, and 1st at the Japanese 420 Junior Youth Sailing Championship 2018.
Both sailors began sailing at a young age with encouragement from their families and quickly progressed in competitive fleets. The pair's natural talent on the water was almost immediately evident - each boy won the Optimist National Championship after only sailing in the class for two years. Otto won the championship in 2014 and Rome the year after in 2015.
In the lead up to the championships next week the duo have been training out of Middle Harbour Yacht Club at an Australian Sailing Youth camp. After the four day camp and training against other 420 teams in their boat 'Indian Pacific', a name reflecting the distance between their homes and a reference to the train that goes between the two oceans, both Otto and Rome are looking forward to the competition.
Follow our sailors as they compete at the Youth Worlds on the Squadron’s Facebook page here.
Article: Zac Quinlan
Images: Thomas Moya/Sailing Energy