Nelson teenagers win Mastercard National Youth Training Week scholarship

 In News, Youth Training Programme

The first of the two Mastercard National Youth Training Weeks has kicked off on Kawau Island this week, and one lucky team from Waimea College in Nelson are there courtesy of a winning a scholarship from event sponsors Mastercard. 

Budding young Nelson sailors Sarah Charles, Luis Schneider, Ruby Campbell and Macgregor Jones are the lucky winners of the first ever Mastercard scholarship, and will spend a week at Kawau Island with an RNZYS coaching team sailing in Elliott 7 Keelboats. 

The winning Waimea team are all very keen sailors, and as they are based in Nelson, it involves quite a bit of cost to be able to attend the training week. The scholarship is designed to give a team who may not have usually been able to attend – the chance to attend, and this – as well as their obvious interest and dedication to the sport – is one of the reasons why the team from Waimea were selected as winners of this scholarship. 

Sarah Charles, 16, is on trim this week and has been sailing with the Waimea College Team Racing Team for four years now, and is incredibly excited to be heading to Kawau this week – “I am really looking forward to my week in Auckland sailing the Elliott 7’s and developing my keelboat skills. Sailing has become a sport I really love, and I can’t thank Mastercard and the RNZYS enough for giving me and my team mates this amazing opportunity.”

Bowman Macgregor Jones, 16, started his sailing journey in 2013 when he took up a learn to sail course at the Nelson Yacht Club, and he hasn’t looked back since. Starting with the P Class and Optimist, Jones has moved onto Laser Radials, and now into the 420’s and 29ers. Not only has he had some great accomplishments already in those classes, Jones has just completed a Learn to Sail coaching qualification, showing he is already keen to give back to the sport. Jones is now set on further enhancing his keelboat skills – “I’ve recently done a bit of keelboat racing and we had success at the 2019 Interclub South Island Champs sailing the Elliott 6’s, so I’m really looking forward to this week in the 7’s and getting a chance to learn from RNZYS YTP Coach Reuben Corbett. I am very grateful to Mastercard and the RNZYS for this opportunity”

Luis Schneider, 16, who is on helm this week, has followed a very similar sailing journey to Jones, and the pair are not only Waimea College Sailing teammates but also 420 and 29er sailing partners. Schneider is also very keen to take his keelboat sailing to the next level and has a distinct love for the sport – “I grew up playing Football but got hooked on sailing after doing a summer holiday course in 2013. I learnt how to windsurf in 2016 and love going out when the breeze is on! I can’t wait to head up to Kawau for the Mastercard National Youth Training Week and learn as much as I can.” 

The youngest member of the team is 15 year old Ruby Campbell who is on main this week. Ruby has sailing in her blood, as her family are all very passionate sailors, and has been sailing since she was just four years old. Campbell has experience sailing in all types of boats, including paper tigers, windsurfers, Hobie 16’s, 420’s, and many more – “In my early teens I had a couple of seasons learning to sail on a Topaz, which led me to join Waimea College Sailing team in 2018This season I have also managed a few nights out in the Nelson harbour fleet racing on a large keeler and it has further peaked my interest in keelboat racing. I am over the moon at getting this opportunity and am very thankful to Mastercard and the RNZYS for this chance to further my sailing skill and knowledge.”

About the Mastercard National Youth Training Weeks

The Mastercard National Youth Training Week is an intensive sailing experience synonymous with our world-renowned Mastercard Youth Training Programme. The week of training gives young sailors the opportunity to receive intensive theoretical and practical instruction in the various aspects of competitive keelboat racing in a disciplined environment. The weeks are also a great feeder for future Mastercard RNZYS Youth Training Programme members, with many training week graduates moving on to become YTP sailors.

More Mastercard National Youth Training Week Information: https://www.rnzys.org.nz/national-youth-training-week/

More Mastercard RNZYS Youth Training Programme Information: https://www.rnzys.org.nz/ytp/

For more information please email RNZYS PR & Communications Manager Andrew Delves: adelves@rnzys.org.nz

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