Jamie, 18, from Dover Heights in Sydney took a gap year to train with Flying Fish and become an RYA Yachtmaster.
This is Jamie's story: Flying Fish visited my school last year and when I heard about the Yachtmaster traineeship I thought that it sounded really cool! I discussed my plans with my Dad and he supported the idea so I signed up for the Yachtmaster Traineeship. The course really appealed to me because the training took place in the UK and Australia, and it gave you a serious qualification.
On the first day I felt quite nervous but once I met everyone we all clicked. Our accommodation was right on Manly Beach front. I had tried surfing before but really got in to it living in Manly. I bought my own surf board and got up most mornings before training for an early morning surf.
The spinnaker week was crazy! The competition between the Flying Fish yachts was awesome - it was really exciting sailing so close to the other boats and going really fast. The tuition from our instructor Andy was great as he made everything really clear.
The nine day offshore up to Coffs harbour was cool, it was the furthest I had ever sailed. The coastline looked brilliant from the water. I skippered in heavy weather, rough seas and strong winds. I really enjoyed taking on the role of skipper and it was made even more enjoyable with a great team.
I made some good friends on the course and I will definitely be staying in contact with them. I am planning to meet up with some of them in Europe later this year.
Nights out in Manly were always good fun. Plus we went on a surfari up to Crescent Head which was great. I had the best day of surfing so far in my life.
South of France
I'm going to Europe travelling, seeing family and friends for a few weeks then I have a job lined up in the South of France on a private 70ft superyacht. We will be sailing around the Mediterranean.
Then I will be starting my degree in International Studies at Sydney University.
Definitely go for it. My mates that didn't do the course are really regretting it now!