The Volvo Ocean Race Academy RS:X Youth Stopover Tour has been announced by the RS:X Class Association and the Race Organisation, today from Alicante, Spain.
The RS:X Youth Stopover Tour will be part of the Volvo Ocean Race Academy, a youth programme which will be in each of the ten host ports of the race. The RS:X Youth Stopover Tour will promote high-level youth windsurfing and also leave a legacy in all the host ports.
Knut Frostad, CEO Volvo Ocean Race and an ex-professional windsurfer himself, looks forward to the event. 'We believe at the Volvo Ocean Race that we must support youth sailing, while leaving a tangible legacy and with the Volvo Ocean Race Academy we are starting this process. We have the Try sailing and Optimist Team Racing initiatives but we were missing the windsurfing element. By helping these young RS:X windsurfers, we are helping future Olympians and possibly Volvo Ocean Race sailors. We also believe that by bringing the RS:X racing to the race village visitors, we can excite and inspire people to go out and try windsurfing, therefore getting more people out on the water, which is one of our goals.'
There will be two days of RS:X racing in the stopover ports with the girls’ and boys’ fleet racing. The competitors must all be under 19 years old and the local MNA’s in host countries will be holding pre-trials to assist the selection process for this special event. The aim is to have a series of ten-minute races as close to the spectators as possible. This will bring a thrilling and informative spectacle to the race village while giving the keen windsurfers a great competition to hone their racing skills.
'The International RS:X Windsurfing Class is delighted to be associated with the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race and looks forward to co-operating, in providing what we are sure will be a spectacular display of close-quarter youth racing during the race stopovers,' says Mike Dempsey, RS:X Class President. 'We take great interest in this worldwide youth training programme and share the philosophy with the Volvo Ocean Race of encouraging young sailors of today to follow their dream and become the Volvo Ocean Race sailors of tomorrow.'
NeilPryde, the windsurfing designer and manufacturer, fully supports the tour and is providing the very latest RS:X Olympic equipment, which will follow the Volvo Ocean Race. 'We are delighted to partner with the Volvo Ocean Race Youth Academy in the organisation of the RS:X Youth Stopover Tour,' said Neil Pryde, CEO of NeilPryde. 'We believe that this partnership will provide the RS:X Class with a tremendous opportunity to support the growth of Olympic windsurfing programmes aimed at youth in the many developing countries where the Volvo Ocean Race has stopovers and will certainly widen the geographic spread of the windsurfing sport.'
The local competitors will benefit from training camps being organised by the RS:X Class Associations. There will also be a windsurfing simulator supplied by NeilPryde in the race village to let visitors get a feel for the sport.