Olly Young grew up learning to sail in the South west of England. He has worked in the sailing industry for the last 14 years - racing, preparing and managing many different campaigns, mainly in the Shorthanded offshore world of the IMOCA 60’s, Class 40’s and Figaro circuits, among the French offshore scene.
Career highlights include winning the Volvo Ocean Race with Dongfeng as part of the shore crew managing the Rig and Deckgear, a world record-breaking lap of Britain and Ireland on an IMOCA 60, and preparing our own Yoann Richomme’s winning Figaro in the 2019 Solitaire du Figaro.
Olly is a passionate sportsperson. He has been part of two sailing/mountaineering expeditions to the Arctic in recent years, with the most notable being a six week trip to the east coast of Greenland, cruising 1,500nm of remote waters and completed 16 first ascents.
Olly joined the team’s offshore training session in Cascais in March and will race with the crew in the upcoming edition of The Ocean Race Europe.
Date of birth
4 May 1988
English and basic French.
Sailing career highlights
La Solitaire du Figaro (2019) - Preparteur for Yoann Richomme’s winning campaign
4th Rolex Fastnet Race (2019)
2nd and world record Shetland Round Britain and Ireland race (2014)
Winner Volvo Ocean Race 2017/18 - Shore Crew in Dongfeng Race Team
Yoann on Olly
I got to know Olly when he assisted me on my victorious solitaire campaign in 2019. He has excellent technical know-how of the 65, having worked with our exact boat when it was Dongfeng previously. Onboard, he is an excellent sailor and will be a great asset to the team.
What was your first sailing memory?
A sailing taster session with the local sailing club cadets with my younger brother when I was 10. We ended up capsizing in a squall and drifting under a moored ammunition barge….I haven’t looked back since!
Who inspires you?
Anyone who pushes the boundaries and doesn’t fit the mould.
What is your favourite quote?
Life has no limitations except the ones you make.
What is your favourite food?
Either a good old Sunday roast Dinner in an old pub beside a fire or a BBQ on a beach somewhere.
What was your childhood sailing dream?
To compete in The Volvo Ocean Race.
What items do you always take with you when you go sailing?
A good set of thermals because it’s no fun being cold.
What hobbies do you have when not sailing?
Any other sport that keeps me in the ocean, it is where I love to be.
Give us an example of a sustainable attitude to life – what do you do for a better world?
I try as much as possible to source all of my food from local farm shops and have completely cut out single use plastics.
What advice would you give to young sailors to protect the planet?
Educate yourself as much as possible about how we live as a species and the processes we use that really have an impact on the planet. That knowledge is powerful and will give a good base to be able to make your own decisions on how to live more sustainably.
Next race: The Ocean Race Europe
It's a great opportunity to be able to compete in this new edition of The Ocean Race Europe, especially this year given the current global pandemic. I’m looking forward to getting out there with an excellent team and having some close racing against some strong competition.