John Derbyshire appointed RYA Racing ManagerThe Royal Yachting Association has announced the appointment of John Derbyshire as the new Racing Manager. He will take over from Rod Carr, who will become the RYA's Secretary General on 1 December 2000. Derbyshire has been the RYA's Olympic Manager since 1997, and is regarded within the organisation as the driving force behind Team GBR's most successful ever sailing Olympics, with three golds and two silver medals. He was also personal coach to Ben Ainslie, during both of his Olympic campaigns.
Now 44, Derbyshire began as a PE teacher, and then turned to instructing sailing at the former National Sailing Centre in 1984. As a sailor he won a Bronze medal at the OK Worlds, as well as UK and German National titles. After attending the 1988 Olympics as the Finn coach, Derbyshire joined the RYA team full-time in 1990. He was in Barcelona coaching the Finn and Europe classes and after the Laser won Olympic status, Derbyshire added this boat to his portfolio.
He has worked on the RYA Racing Coaches Courses and started the process of the nationally recognised coaching scheme within racing. And in 1996, John was the Paralympic Sailing Team Manager in Savannah, coaching Andy Cassell, Kevin Curtis and Tony Downs to the Gold medal in the demonstration event.
The RYA will be looking to Derbyshire for his proven management and leadership skills, but a key area of his new position will be to continue to secure the sort of funding that enabled the glories of Sydney 2000. And to build the success both up and down - working on youth initiatives to bring more talent into the sport, and nurturing the first buds of success in big boat racing, that will enable the Olympic sailors to extend and develop their professional careers. I think we can be pretty confident that the hottest potato in his in-tray right now is the prospective British America's Cup Challenge.