Two lucky young teams win Mastercard Scholarship for 2020 Mastercard Youth Training Weeks

 In News, Youth Training Programme

Two lucky teams of youth sailors have won Mastercard Scholarships for the 2020 Mastercard Youth Training Weeks run by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron at Kawau Island, starting this weekend.

As part of Mastercard’s sponsorship of the event, they have generously donated two scholarships for two teams to attend the weeklong training event. The scholarship is designed to give two teams who may not have usually been able to attend – the opportunity to attend what can be a career and lifechanging week away.

The first lucky crew are a team from Nelson made up of Ella Arnold, Tim Douglas, Zeta van de Wel and James Fleet. These sailors all epitomize team spirit, inclusiveness and sportsmanship.  Each are considerate of others, reliable, highly motivated to do well and share their experiences with their teammates.  They all have strong practical sailing and team work skills and introduced the joy of sailing to new sailors and are strong role models for their school sailing teams and younger members of the Nelson Yacht Club. In short, they are perfect for this Mastercard Scholarship. Get to know them a bit more below…

Ella Arnold (15) – has sailed Optimist, Topaz, Starling, 420 and 29’er boats, and is the current co-captain of the Nelson College for Girls sailing team (teams racing).  She has competed in two 420 teams racing National regattas, regional regattas and at the Inter-Dominions last year in Hobart. Ella competed in the 29’er Nationals in 2020, and is entered in the Starling Nationals to be held in Nelson late September.  She was recognised with a Citizenship award at Nelson College for Girls in 2019.  When not on the water, she is a Leader in Training at the Nelson Yacht Club, runs to keep fit, plays the guitar, is keen on the outdoors and is an accomplished Sea Scout.

Tim Douglas (17) – has sailed Optimist, Topaz, 420, Laser boats, and crewed Keelers. He is now the senior sailor in the Nelson College sailing team having joined the team as the youngest member, 4 years ago when he entered high school. Tim has sailed in three Nationals regattas with the senior College 420 Team sailing team, the Inter-Dominions last year in Hobart and numerous regional regattas. He was top student at Nelson College across academic, music and sport (yachting) in Year 10, and was awarded the Outdoor Education prize in Year 11. Tim’s passions are music (plays sax in several bands), gaming/computers and the outdoors.

James Fleet (16) – has been sailing since he was 8 years old, participating in the learn to sail programs at Nelson Yacht Club each season, then joining NBYTRA in year 8 at Nelson College. James has represented Nelson College Teams sailing in inter school regattas – he enjoys the camaraderie and excitement of team racing. He has participated in extra school holiday 420 training weeks at every opportunity, and is comfortable in either the crew or skipper position on the boats. James is a busy teen, with his other passion playing rugby, representing his College and age grade Tasman representative teams.

Zeta (17) – has sailed 420’s and has (and still is) enjoyed extended family yachting time including a year and a half live-on-board. Zeta has mainly crewed in the 420 for the Nelson College for Girls Team Sailing squad.  She started teams sailing relatively late, but has participated in the Top of the South regional regatta, National Teams Sailing regatta and the Inter-Dominions held last year in Hobart.  Zeta has been a keen underwater hockey player with the Nelson junior team and was an Iron Duke Sea Scout for many years.  Zeta’s real strength is being a team player, who will work hard to keep her team together.

Our second team are an all-female team from the Naval Point Yacht Club in Lyttleton, and are also great candidates for this Mastercard scholarship. The team are made up of Ella Wilcox, Megan Bayley, Amelia Collins, and Chloe Clinch, all of whom are very keen young female sailors who will learn a lot in their week at Kawau. Learn more about the team below… 

Ella Wilcox – From birth, I have grown up on boats in marinas, and out on the water. This is due to my family owning launches and my father’s involvement in sailing and Yacht Clubs.   Because of this I got to see lots of different yachts, and boats and have had many experiences on the water.  From the age of seven I did a learn to sail course at Mt Pleasant Yacht Club in Christchurch where I found my love for sailing. Advancing in my sailing I moved to Naval Point Club in Lyttleton, as I progressed through the Optimist Class, I competed in multiple North Island, South Island and National regattas, also competing in a World Sailing Cup in Australia as part of the Girls Development Squad.  I then moved into a P-Class where I represented Canterbury in two Tanner Cups and competed in three Tauranga Cups.  I then progressed to a Starling, again competing at Regional and National level. Then last Season I sailed a mix of a 29er (In Nelson), Starling, Elliot 6’s.  Along with my other sailing I have also competed in schools, 420 Teams Sailing in Christchurch over the last four years. I have done multiple regattas in the Elliot 7’s at the RNZYS, which is how I heard of the Mastercard National Youth Training Week. This training week is exciting for me as I am keen to learn new skills in how to sail these boats. I wish to progress in the future with Youth Sailing at a competitive level and the knowledge gained from this week, will benefit any team that I am involved with.

Megan Bayley – I was brought up being around boats. When I was 2, 5 and 8 I sailed to Vanuatu with my family on our yacht, this gave me the opportunity to sail a big boat. I started sailing Optimist at Charteris Bay Yacht Club when I was 8, since then I started doing 420 teams racing and am an active member of that currently. I started doing 420 fleet racing last season finishing with nationals.  I also started sailing Elliot 6s last season at Naval Point Yacht Club in Lyttleton and I did a regatta in the Elliot 7s in Auckland. The team that I am sailing with now, is the team I am going up to Kawau Island with.  I am currently continuing with 420 fleet sailing out of Naval Point Yacht Club. In the future I want to continue sailing as part of a team as it is a big part of my life. 

Amelia Collins – I started sailing by doing a learn to sail course at my primary school, from there I then progressed onto sailing an Optimist at the Waimack Yacht Club. I then moved onto sailing at Pleasant Point Yacht Club and sailed a Fire Bug and a Sunburst with my father, growing older has enabled me to also sail Keelboats with my father in Akaroa.  I have since sailed Bay Week with a crew from Christchurch and have become involved with sailing Elliot 6s at Naval Point Club on Lyttelton Harbour.  I have competed at RNZYS in a couple of regattas and wish to stay involved with competitive sailing.

Chloe Clinch – I am 14 years old and have been part of Charteris Bay Yacht Club since I was 6 years old. I started sailing an Optimist when I was 8 and my first Optimist Nationals was at Napier when I was 9 years old. I am currently sailing a P Class and last weekend I competed in the Canterbury Tanner Cup Trials and will compete in the P Class Nationals in January. I have also just started sailing a 420 and an Elliot 6 on a Wednesday night as part of a girls’ team which I love. My future sailing goals to continue sailing in the girls’ team and in the future I aspire to be part of an NZ women’s ocean racing team. 

About the Mastercard National Youth Training Weeks

Week 1: 7th December – 13th December 2020

Week 2: 13th December – 19th December 2020

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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