by Sara Tucker
Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme Graduation
Another 15 young sailors, ranging in age from 18 – 20 years, graduated from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme on Monday night.
Thanks to this world-renowned program these graduates are now fully equipped to represent the RNZYS, and quite possibly New Zealand, in the next exciting stage of their sailing careers! This is the 24th year of the RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme which has now graduated 402 sailors, many of whom are now household names having attained the ultimate peaks in the sport of sailing.
Youth Programme graduates such as Kelvin Harrap, Mark Christensen, Gavin Brady, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, David Endean, Carl Williams, Sharon Ferris, Amy Mulcahy, Adam Minoprio, Phil Robertson, Stephanie Hazard, Will Tiller have all made their mark in the work of yachting, and the list goes on and on.
Adam Minoprio. Qualifying session 3 at Monsoon Cup 2010. World Match Racing Tour, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. 3 December 2010. Photo: Subzero Images/WMRT
Monday’s graduation ceremony at the RNZYS, the home of the programme, was attended by over 60 sponsors, supporters, graduates and their families. Each graduate spoke of their year(s) achievements with the programme and the gratitude they had for the Lion Foundation, the 10 individual boat sponsors of the Elliott 7 metre yachts and all the supporters of the programme, who have been instrumental in the achievement in their yachting goals to date.
All those in attendance at this 2012 graduation ceremony were in awe of both the eloquence of these young sailors for both their accomplishments to date and their aspirations for the future.
Graduates of the 2011/2012 – 24th year were:
Graduate of 1 year
Graduate of 2 years
Graduate of 3 years
Graduate of 4 years
Katie de Lange
Coach Guy Pilkington took the opportunity to thank the long serving RNZYS Race Management of Gerald Flynn, Neil Harris and Peter McKeogh who continually arrive on the weekends to ensure that the level of training and racing is of the highest standard. The coaches who have supported the teams traveling overseas this year, along with Guy, have been Roy Dickson, who attended the Harken Youth Match Racing Regatta at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Sydney and Graduate Will Tiller who attended the Centreport Youth International in Wellington.
Lion Foundation Youth crew - 2012 Harken Young 88 Nationals
Pilkington commented 'It has been another fantastic year for the Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme with David Hazard winning the Harken Youth Regatta in Sydney and the Centreport in Wellington. Also Chris Steele winning our own Harken Youth International. I am certainly looking forward to this year, which will be our 25th year.'
This year youth programme teams have also competed in numerous keelboat events, including all 10 Elliott 7’s at the BMW Auckland Regatta Week, and most recently a third overall in the extremely competitive Young 88 National Championships onboard ‘Sister Moonshine’.
The 25th year reunion of the RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme will be celebrated in November this year and we are looking forward to a fantastic night with many of our Graduates and Supporters.
For further information about the RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme, check out our website www.rnzys.org.nz / youth programme
Guy Pilkington Coach 0274 918 962 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sara Tucker Administrator email@example.com