Young sailors and windsurfers in Northern Ireland could follow in the wake of Donaghadee’s Charlie O’Malley by applying for a junior pathway boat or board in the final year of the RYA’s partnership with the John Merricks Sailing Trust.
Brand new, single-handed boats and boards will be gifted to promising youngsters aged 14 or under “who display enthusiasm, drive, and commitment to the sport and who may not ordinarily have the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their goals”.
Chosen sportspeople will have exclusive use of their own equipment for two years before it’s returned to their supporting venue so that others can benefit.
Since the launch of the partnership between the JMST and RYA OnBoard in 2013, a total of 89 boats and boards have been awarded — and at least one each year has gone to a youth sailor in northern Ireland.
Last year’s recipient, Topper sailor Charlie O’Malley, said: “The JMST boat allowed me to sail to my full potential and it can also gives others a chance to perform at their full potential … The JMST topper changed my sailing life and I hope it can change many other lives too.”
Eligible sailors must be under 15 years of age on 31 December 2020. Sailors must also enter and compete at the RYANI Youth Championships this September.
Sailors will then be shortlisted and invited to complete an application form after the event. For further information visit OnBoard JMST or call 02380 604195.