The ISAF Athlete Participation Programme (APP) continues to go from success to success with 22 sailors from 16 nations supported at the 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds.
APP has been running since 2002 and has given over 150 sailors the opportunity to compete at the premier youth sailing regatta. Thanks to APP funding Tanzania are represented at the ISAF Youth Worlds for the first time in 2014 and in total has helped 11 nations to compete at the event for the first time.
Antonio Gonzalez de la Madrid, ISAF Youth Worlds Technical Delegate, explained what APP is all about, 'This is a programme we started in 2002 and what we are trying to achieve is to help some countries to attend this event. For them it is great because it is the first time they can be in a top level event with the best sailors and it's their first experience.
'It's great for them to have sailors from all around the world, all the continents and different cultures to build friendships, have dinner together and learn some more about sailing and enjoy the week.'
Many of the competitors come to the ISAF Youth Worlds alone but with the support of a close knit group and expert coaching from World Youth Sailing Trust coach, Hugh Styles, they have adapted to their environment.
Latvian APP sailor Ricards Zvilna is using the ISAF Youth Worlds to build up to the Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds this September and is enjoying the company of his fellow competitors, 'There are a lot of nice people here and everybody is really friendly. I love it. Having Hugh is pretty important because otherwise I would be left completely alone without a coach. He looks out for me and I think I would be no where without him.'
Romania's Tarkan Bolat is flying his nation's flag for only the second time at the ISAF Youth Worlds like Zvilna is loving life, 'It's the first time I'm in this programme and they helped me to come here because my country couldn't afford to send somebody here. They've made my dream come true to participate in a such a great regatta where everybody can only send one sailor.'
For Netherlands Antilles sailor Kristie Van Der Woude, APP has opened up her eyes to new cultures, 'I'm from a very small Island and there's only the people that live there and you meet them and know them but I'd never have been able to meet anyone from Mozambique or Zimbabwe on my island but I have now.
'Having a coach is really good because I'm not that good yet and he can help explain what's happening with the wind and I can catch on faster.'
ISAF helps to support the APP sailors by helping to pay for the entry fee and travel costs to give them opportunities they may not have previously had.
The 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds APP Sailors are:
One Person Dinghy Boy's - Laser Radial: Rhone Findlay (AHO); Jakub Halouzka (CZE); Colin Brego (ISV); Ricards Zvilna (LAT); Marc Spurway (LCA); Justin Busuttil (MLT); Ezequiel Chachine (MOZ); Carlos Schauman (PAR); Sergio Silva (PER); Tarkan Bolat (ROU); Patrik Melis (SVK); Sahala Imamu (TAN); Alberto Lados (URU); Cameron McCosh (ZIM)
One Person Dinghy Girl's - Laser Radial: Kristie Van Der Woude (AHO); Nicola Paul (COL); Alaiza Mae Belmonte (PHI)
Dolores Moreira (URU); Androniki Hiripis (ZIM)
Windsurfer Boy's - RS:X: Juan Fernando Bazo (PER); Gaston Bermudez (URU)
Open Skiff - 29er: Veronika Zivna (CZE) Event website