SailGP has announced the third installment of its Adopt-a-Club program in Plymouth, initiating partnerships with sailing clubs and local organizations including Plymouth Youth Sailing, Mount Batten Centre, Horizons (Plymouth), as part of the global league’s Race for the Future initiatives to expand opportunities for diversity and inclusion.
With each event city, new dynamics are presented to develop partnerships between SailGP’s eight national teams and their engagement within the respective communities. Sailing organisations being the entry point for many young people are the key to providing access to a world of on-water activities and industry insights having a positive and influential impact on their future.
Great Britain SailGP Team grinder Matt Gotrel said: “SailGP’s Adopt-a-Club program has been a brilliant initiative for Season 2; it has enabled all the teams to have direct contact with an engaged local audience at each event location. In Bermuda we were able to give a group of young sailors from Sandys Boat Club a virtual tour of our F50 foiling catamaran, and in Taranto we met with Circolo Velico Azimuth ahead of their big Laser racing event.
“We now head into our home event in Plymouth and can’t wait to meet the local sailors from Plymouth Youth Sailing Club and use the power of sport for good to inspire F50 sailors of the future.”
Plymouth Youth Sailing Club – paired with the Great Britain SailGP Team – plays an integral role for disadvantaged youth in and around Britain’s Ocean City. By providing access to on-water programs, young people are able to develop their self-esteem and confidence through sailing activities, an experience that may not otherwise be realized in their daily lives.
Plymouth Youth Sailing Club commodore Adrian Kemp said: “The members and volunteers at Plymouth Youth Sailing Club are extremely excited about being linked to the British team for the SailGP Adopt-a-Club program in Plymouth. We are keen to maximise the interaction, impact and spectacle of the great sailing for the young people of Plymouth. We hope that many young people who don’t normally engage with on-water activity will be inspired to have a go and discover the joys of a sport we are all passionate about.
Pairings for SailGP’s Adopt-a-Club program at the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix include:
Plymouth Yacht Club with New Zealand SailGP Team, Saltash Sailing Club with France SailGP Team, Tamar River Sailing Club with Denmark SailGP Team, Torpoint Mosquito Sailing Club with Australia SailGP Team, Yelm Yacht Club with Japan SailGP Team, Plymouth Youth Sailing Club with Great Britain SailGP Team, Horizons Plymouth with United States SailGP Team, and Mount Batten Centre with Spain SailGP Team.
A hub for both recreational and professional watersports activities, the Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre – paired with the Spain SailGP Team – is perfectly situated on the edge of Plymouth Sound offering a variety of programs for budding and experienced young sailors.
Mount Batten Centre watersports & activities manager Sam Waites said: “We are delighted to be a part of the Adopt-a-Club program for SailGP. One of our key user groups – Woodlands special School – had the opportunity a couple of years ago to tour offshore yacht racer Francois Gabart’s yacht Macif whilst enjoying activities with the Mount Batten Centre. After having this first experience, these students are excited for their newest adventure – a virtual meet and greet of the Spain SailGP Team and a virtual tour of their F50 foiling catamaran.
“Keep an eye out over the SailGP race weekend for some tasty Spanish-inspired dishes being served at The Lookout Café. We can’t wait to be cheering on our ‘adopted’ Spanish team from onshore!”
Horizons Children’s Sailing Charity, celebrating their 30th birthday this year, uses sailing as a tool to help build personal and social skills amongst an inclusive range of young people from a variety of backgrounds within Plymouth.
Horizons (Plymouth) Chief Executive Simon Mace said: “We are looking forward to the spectacle of SailGP arriving here in Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City, and the opportunities it brings with it for our young people to engage with the event. The partnership with SailGP and the United States SailGP Team will be a fantastic opportunity for our young people to get unparalleled insight into the event.
“It’s amazing when young people choose sailing as a sport for life after engaging with Horizons. Events like this help to open people’s eyes to the range of opportunities that exist within the world of sailing. You never know where your sailing journey can take you. One day one of our young people could be on a SailGP team!”
Although each event city during the championship season will present new partnerships for the eight national teams to build upon, the Adopt-a-Club program benefits through strong relationships with suppliers such as RS Sailing, and the support of governing bodies such as the Royal Yachting Association.
Playing a vital role in the skills development of young sailors, the RS Feva class has been selected as part of SailGP Season 2, with RS Sailing helping to establish a foundation on which the youth enrolled in sailing clubs or through sailing centers can grow.
RS Sailing co-managing director Jon Partridge said: “RS Sailing is very proud that our RS Feva is involved with SailGP’s initiatives in Plymouth. SailGP’s Adopt-a-Club program is fantastic for exposing young sailors to the top end of our sport, the elite athletes and gain an understanding of what it is like both on the water and inside the industry.The hope is the young sailors will gain a completely new perspective on our sport, the event and the industry which could lead to a lifetime in the sport.”
SailGP’s supercharged F50 foiling catamarans take to Plymouth Sound for the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix, July 17-18. Fans unable to attend can watch all the action broadcast live in 175 territories, including via SKY Sports in the UK and Ireland as well as live on YouTube. The award-winning SailGP APP – available in the App Store and Google Play – gives the ultimate viewing experience with full customization, access to data, and live commentary. For event details, visit SailGP.com/GreatBritain.