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South West Youth Sailing Academy Winter Training at Paignton Sailing Club

by Nicholas James on 14 Nov 2016 12-13 November 2016
Tera and Topper winter training with the South West Youth Sailing Academy at Paignton © Nicholas James

Forty eight junior sailors in their single handed Tera and Topper dinghies took to the water as Paignton Sailing Club hosted the second weekend of the South West Youth Sailing Academy winter training sessions. A forecast of very strong winds didn't materialise for the two day training camp with 10-15 knots on the Saturday dropping down to 7-10 on the Sunday straight off Paigntons sandy beach. SWYSA is a not for profit RYA affiliated group with youngsters from several local sailing clubs who have come together to train over the winter months.

Funded partly from the sailors but helped by the RYA, the local sailing clubs and Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation the group bring in top coaches including two world champions and an Olympian to bring the youngsters on from novice club sailors to very competitive racers. Now in its third year the projects has proved that this environment is ideal for keeping youngsters sailing and improving their skills into hopefully a lifelong love of the sport.

Last year of the thirty youngsters in the SWYSA group, seven were awarded places on prestigious Zone and National squads. Nicholas James from SWYSA said "Its going from strength to strength thanks to the guidance and support we receive from the RYA and ASSF", "We were really pleased that Chris Atherton the RYA Senior High Performance Manager, (South and South West Zone Squads, RYA Champion Club, Coach Development) took time out of his busy schedule and came to see our training in action and meet the coaching team this weekend at Paignton Sailing club. It was the RYA zone championships at Paignton only a few years ago that we started this project with the help, support and advice of Chris Atherton and Duncan West from the RYA team."

The sessions started with Tim Anderton the head coach from ASSF acknowledging all the awards and prizes the sailors had won at their recent clubs various prize givings and both national and local events. Tim said "The project is working really well and supporting the grass roots sailors and nurturing this talent is very much what ASSF is about" "We have also been approached to hopefully replicate this success in other parts of the country that we are really excited about."

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