RYA launches keelboat racing scheme for young dinghy talent

Successful applicants could find themselves on an America's Cup fast-track

Wednesday December 20th 2000, Author: Andy Rice, Location: United Kingdom
The RYA has launched a new scheme which could see ambitious 18-20 year old dinghy sailors fast-tracked through to future America’s Cup campaigns. The RYA has invited young sailors to apply for 12 places on the scheme, which will see them introduced to keelboat racing on either Sigma 33s or 38s at the Warsash Spring Series in March.

From there, they will go on to compete in the America’s Cup Jubilee this summer, where they will compete on larger keelboats, most likely on 12 Metres which are predicted to have a large fleet presence in the Solent for the 150th anniversary celebrations.

The successful applicants will also be required to take part in a televised sailing masterclass in August. This looks to be a big opportunity for young sailors of the right calibre. And the John Merricks Sailing Trust is contributing towards the cost of the programme.

The RYA commented on its website: "There is already ACC [America’s Cup yacht] activity in the UK with two yachts now based on the south coast. There is a possibility that there will soon be more. Crew will be needed, and this fact will be taken into account when selecting young sailors to take part in the event. A sort of ‘crew search’ is envisaged, which will bring in new blood."

Applications are requested by 20th January from those who will be 18, 19 or 20 years old on 18th August 2001, and particularly those who want to make a transition from racing dinghies to keelboats. You will be asked to provide personal details and ambitions, a sailing CV to demonstrate a track record, and you will need a recommendation from your club commodore or equivalent.

For more details on the scheme, go to the RYA website, or email Kath O’Connell on kath.occonnell@rya.org.uk

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