Volvo keelboat programme announced

UK arm of the car manufacturer supports new RYA initiative

Thursday January 2nd 2003, Author: Jo Grindley, Location: United Kingdom
Volvo and the RYA are extending their successful partnership by developing the all-new Volvo RYA Keelboat Sailing Programme for 2003. The programme plans to emulate the success of the Volvo RYA Youth Programme before it.

By applying the proven Youth and Olympic training models, Volvo RYA Keelboat Sailing will provide training, coaching and grants to a small but select number of young sailors who in turn will be pivotal to future British keelboat projects. These include the Volvo Ocean Race, World Match Racing, Admirals and Commodores Cups, Tour de Voile, Europrix and Americas Cup. The scheme will also support those young sailors wishing to take the route of single-handed sailing.

Sailors between the ages of 16-24 can be selected for the Volvo RYA Keelboat Team from a number of avenues;
· The National and Youth Match Racing Circuit
· New RYA keelboat weekends, to be run around the UK
· Recommendations to RYA by other organisations, talent scouts and High Performance Managers.

Once in the team, the sailors will benefit from general and specific keelboat training to include for example; instrumentation, meteorology and sail tuning to name a but a few. RYA coaching staff will attend training weekends and relevant specialist knowledge will be bought in.

Members of Team Volvo for Life, including Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie and Volvo Ocean Race skipper, Neal McDonald will also provide support and coaching to the scheme.

The RYA Crewsearch Scheme will look to match Volvo RYA Keelboat Team-members with keelboat owners who run viable campaigns. In time it is hoped keelboat owners will in turn select crew-members for their campaigns from the Volvo RYA Keelboat Team.

"The Keelboat programme, with Volvo's support, will enable the wealth of up and coming GBR talent to develop and progress in all areas of keelboat sailing at all levels," said David Atkinson, Racing Services Manager at the RYA. "This programme will also enhance the RYA Crewsearch scheme, where owners will be able to access members of the programme to find their keelboat crew."

James Kendall, Sponsorship Manager, Volvo Car UK Ltd explained how Volvo sees the new sponsorship. "Keelboat sailing is an exciting and performance led sport which fits well with the Volvo brand. We are confident that this new Volvo RYA partnership which aims to highlight the next generation of British keelboat sailors will be a great success, and we hope that some may in time compete in the Volvo Ocean Race."

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