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42 youth sailors will embark on SailGP's Inspire Careers and Racing programmes in Sydney

by Olivia Hogan 13 Dec 2021 15:08 PST 14-18 December 2021
Young sailors take part in the Inspire RS Sailing program. Spain SailGP, Event 6, Season 2 in Cadiz, Andalucia, Spain. © Felix Diemer for SailGP

SailGP's next installment of its Inspire Careers and Racing programmes is set to provide 42 young people with once-in-a lifetime opportunities, both onshore and on the water.

The league's purpose-driven community outreach programmes continue to build a more inclusive talent pool - increasing diversity and accessibility to the sport - for SailGP and the wider sailing industry as it uses sport for good in its Race for the Future.

With the Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG taking place on December 17-18, Inspire Careers candidates will be participating across 10 roles supporting a combination of the league, and for the first time each of the SailGP teams during the event. Taking to the F50 race course are 32 young sailors represented by an even number of males and females - eight pairs on board the RS Feva class, and 16 individuals foiling on WASZPs - exhibiting their skills and passion for sailing as part of Inspire's Racing program.

Inspire Careers candidates

The future of sailing not only depends on the replenishment and development of athletes, it requires a network of exceptional support staff and crew. There to ensure the success of its respective SailGP team is dedicated and skilled personnel that work alongside the league's operations teams, to ensure the boats and athletes can perform at the highest level.

For the first time since its inception, the Inspire Careers program will provide candidates with an opportunity to experience the inner workings of a SailGP team as part of a new shore team work experience intiative. Launching during race week in Sydney, each candidate placed within a SailGP team will be supporting the technical departments with the build and maintenance of the F50, which may include basic maintenance of winches, rigging and fairing, as well as shore team operational support with the wing, foils, and support boats.

Australia Careers candidates taking part in the shore team work experience program are: Garth Bickford with Denmark SailGP Team presented by ROCKWOOL; Archie Gargett with Spain SailGP Team; Hugo Darin with Japan SailGP Team; Zac Heyes with United States SailGP Team; Michael Parks with New Zealand SailGP Team; James Pinnington with France SailGP Team; Conall Green with Australia SailGP Team; and Zac West with the Great Britain SailGP Team.

Positioned with the league's race management team, and on-water operations team are Riley Vallance and Luke Ingeman. Both candidates are from Australia and expressed a keen interest in the league's operations.

Inspire Racing candidates

SailGP's highly anticipated return to Sydney Harbour is about to ramp up with the dazzling addition of homegrown talent getting the once-in-a-lifetime chance to showcase their skills onboard RS Feva class and WASZP foiling class boats on the same waters that the F50s and its world-class athletes will race, providing real inspiration for the next generation.

Integrated with Inspire's Adopt-a-Club programme, eight sailing clubs were chosen in partnership with Australian Sailing and include ones that are not only centrally located in Sydney but on the fringes of the city as well. While proximity to SailGP's event played a role in the overall club selection, the strength of the club's youth sailing programme was a key factor. Each of these clubs were then able to nominate two young rising stars to represent their respective clubs in the RS Feva class. Training on the RS Feva will kick off on the morning of December 17, followed by racing action that same afternoon and continuing on Saturday, December 18 ahead of the main event.

Australian Sailing manager for NSW/ACT, Emma Humphries said: "SailGP's Inspire programme truly is inspirational. Australian Sailing was very pleased to facilitate the pairing of local clubs with SailGP teams for Inspire's Adopt-a-Club community outreach initiative, which is tied into its Racing component featuring the RS Feva boat class. Collectively, SailGP Inspire's Learning, Careers, and Racing programmes are giving young sailors a once-in-a-lifetime experience both on and off the water while also leaving a legacy for the clubs involved."

Racing in the RS Feva class are the following 16 young male and female candidates: Hanako Tomishima and Spencer McKay for Woollahra Sailing Club; Isaac Robbins and Mia Huntington for Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Sailing Club; Ruby Smith and Marcus Wong for Connells Point Sailing Club; Xavier Waters and Lauren Gray for Port Hacking Open Sailing Club; Oliver Sturwohld and Ella Donovan for Concord & Ryde Sailing Club; Isabel Badger and Ben Richards for Vaucluse Amateurs 12ft Sailing Club; Isabella Armistead and Eoin Cullinane for Lane Cove 12ft Sailing Skiff Club; and Cormac Johnston and Zoe Allen for Hunters Hill Sailing Club.

A strong contingent for Season 2, all 16 WASZP racing candidates - eight male and eight female sailors (U21) - represent the host country, Australia. The thrilling experience of foiling technology is amplified for these young sailors as they take to the F50 race course in Sydney Harbour for the first time in front of family, friends and sports fans.

WASZP racing candidates will take to Sydney Harbour for training on December 14-15, with race qualifying on December 16, culminating in two final race days December 17-18. WASZP racing candidates include: Daniel Links, Hugo Allison, Jack Ferguson, Tyler Creevey, Keizo Tomishima, Will Cooley, Anna Cripsey, Bridget Conrad, Brooke Wilson, Mina Ferguson, Sarah Hoffman, Olivia Williams, Sara Bruce, and Isabella Holdsworth. Also participating are Aidan Simmons and Joel Beashel who will be the youngest WASZP sailors of the season at just 13 years of age.

Australia SailGP Team athlete Nina Curtis said: "It's been so refreshing to see young Australians applying for the Inspire program, with so much talent across the country and especially seeing young female athletes getting themselves on these high performance foiling WASZPs. Inspire Racing is a great way to create a pathway through SailGP that can connect to the teams and the Women's Pathway Program."

The Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG will be teeming with spectators this Friday, December 17, and Saturday, December 18 both onshore and out on the water. Event details, including any remaining ticket sales, can be found at SailGP.com/Australia. For those unable to attend, following all the action is just a click away. Visit How to Watch for more viewing options.

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