Team Aqua offer scholarship to RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Programme

Gennaker ride into Bon Accord Harbour - National Youth Training Week - RNZYS Lion Foundation
RNZYS Media©

Chris Bake's Team Aqua are the current RC 44 Champions and are offering a position at the first event of 2013 to members of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme.

Besides being one of the principal contenders of the Tour, Team Aqua uses its boat as a platform to promote an eco-friendly message. The team supports the World Land Trust and 2041, an organisation founded by polar explorer, environmental leader and public speaker Robert Swan OBE, the first person in history to walk to both the North and South Poles, and who is dedicated to the protection of the Poles. Team Aqua offsets its carbon footprint and promotes sustainable development.

The link to Team Aqua is through YTP graduate Cameron Appleton who has been helmsman/tactician and ‘Team Aqua’ project manager for the past six years. 'We have been, for a few years now, supporting young sailors from the UK as this is where Chris is based. In 2013 I wanted to open this up to the nations that we are all from on board Team Aqua as we are a multinational group.

Cameron Appleton (Team Aqua)
Sara Tucker
'Our goal is to give a platform to the younger sailors who don’t otherwise have the opportunity to get involved in established teams; looking around the sailing world most teams don't have much turn-over this makes it hard for these young talented sailors to be involved. It’s never easy as a young sailor to make the contacts and gain the trust to be included.

'As Andy and I are both from New Zealand I want to make the opportunity available to the Squadron's Youth Training Programme as we both got so much from it and started our careers there. This year’s scholarship is to be part of ‘Team Aqua’ for our next event in Oman from mid-January – February 2013. We are looking for a young sailor to come into the program, learn and help us prepare the boat and then support us while racing'.

Appleton graduated three years of the Squadron’s Youth Training Programme in 1997 and ‘Team Aqua’ mainsheet trimmer Andrew Estcourt one year earlier in 1996. Amongst the stars of their years Appleton and Estcourt racked up many youth titles including wins at the Governor’s Cup in 1995 and the RNZYS Harken Youth International (then Coca-Cola Cup) title in 1996. Since graduating both have competed in many major keelboat and match racing events before joining ‘Team Aqua’ six years ago winning the Tour in 2007 and now winning back-to-back championships after defending there title in the RC 44 Tour Championships, which they achieved in October this year.

Adris RC44 World Championships 2012: Team Aqua (GBR) action shot
RC44 Class/
Coach of the RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme Guy Pilkington, was very excited to be given this opportunity. 'We are ecstatic to be able to offer such a great experience to one of our young sailors. This is really something special that will build many bridges and create a great many contacts for someone who would never normally have this opportunity. We are excited to be a part of the application process and I believe being able to ‘sell’ yourself and build up presentation skills is a must for any young sailor. We are excessively grateful to Chris Bake for the opportunity and to Cameron for all his input and organisation.'

Visit Team Aqua online at

RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training programme

History and background

The RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme is now in its 25th year. The programme owns and operates 10 individually sponsored Elliott 7 metre high performance training keelboats with four crew onboard; helm, main, trimmer and bowman. Crews are supported by up to six chaseboat/reserve crews.
The Elliott 7’s were launched in June 2010 and these new ‘sport’ type keelboats offer both spinnakers and gennakers.

Young sailors between the ages of 15 – 21 years of age can apply at any time (application forms online at / youth programme). Training begins in May each year and is for a period of 1 year. Trainee’s can/usually apply for consecutive years.

Sponsors: Lion Foundation - Jerry Clayton BMW International – Watts & Hughes – Telecom – Harken – Whiting Power Systems – Western Mailing – Soar Printing – Yachting Developments – Doyle Sailmakers – Boating New Zealand Magazine Elliott Marine – Donaghys – Id Sign – Hella Marine – Southern Spars – KZ Marine – General Marine Services – High Modulus – PredictWind

For further information please contact
Sara Tucker
RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme Administrator