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Win up to £10,000 for your OnBoard venue with the Panerai Challenger Trophy

by Becky Gilbert-Wood 4 Mar 15:41 GMT 2-3 March 2019
Panerai Challenger Trophy event 2018 © RYA

The three-year joint initiative between Italian high-end watchmaker Panerai and RYA OnBoard, aims to promote the power of sailing in positively impacting young people's lives.

RYA OnBoard sailing clubs and training centres are encouraged to nominate a young sailor they feel has overcome physical, economic or social challenges to achieve a significant milestone in sailing or windsurfing.

In doing so, they will have demonstrated how the sport has developed one or more of the OnBoard recognised character attributes of creativity, teamwork, communication, determination, independence and confidence.

18 year-old Nicola Stockdale, was crowned the overall winner of the inaugural trophy in 2018 for her volunteering efforts at Debdale Outdoor Activity Club (DOAC). Having lost her father in 2014, Nicola focussed on her sailing, developing her teaching skills and progressing to achieve an RYA Dinghy Instructor qualification.

Over the past few years, Nicola has devoted more than 500 hours to the club, working with younger children and encouraging them to take up mentoring roles. Since winning the Panerai Challenger Trophy (PCT) last year, Nicola has started a Digital Media degree at Leeds University and continues to return to DOAC to volunteer for the club she loves.

She has used the PCT grant to purchase some new equipment, and plans to continue her personal and professional development within the watersports industry by using the rest of the grant to complete her Senior Instructor course and further training.

"Winning the Panerai Challenger Trophy was just the most amazing experience and such a confidence builder. It's opened so many doors, I've met so many people at all the events, and the grant money has meant I can now get the qualifications I need, whereas before I probably wouldn't have been able to pay for them," explains Nicola.

"We don't have a lot of money at Debdale and the grant has allowed us to get new kit for the club which has made a huge difference. We were working with old kit that was really starting to be on its last legs, and the kids that sail here want to be able to progress and need modern kit. It's been incredible for them and they're so excited to go and try it all out."

The winning club will be eligible to receive the maximum £10,000 grant to purchase new equipment that further supports junior sailors or windsurfers. The successful individual will be eligible to receive the maximum £5,000 grant to continue their development in sailing, windsurfing or more broadly within the marine industry.

In addition, up to three further funding grants will be awarded to venues and deserving OnBoarders. All four finalists will enjoy a day out on beautiful classic yacht Eilean, followed by an awards dinner in London.

RYA OnBoard Operations Officer, Hannah Cockle commented: "We're delighted to be working with Panerai for a second year. It's so important to showcase what sailing and windsurfing can do for young people because it's not just a sport, it also teaches so many different life skills.

"All four of last year's finalists have overcome personal adversity and hugely benefitted from everything OnBoard has to offer. It's humbling to hear their stories, and just fantastic to see what a difference the funding grants have made to both the individuals and their clubs over the past year. We look forward to receiving this year's applications."

Find out more

Run by the RYA, OnBoard is a grass roots programme which introduces sailing and windsurfing to young people aged 8 to 18, through schools, youth groups and training centres. The low cost sessions are designed to promote equal access to sailing for young people from all social and economic backgrounds, whilst encouraging their character development.

Panerai has committed to making a total investment of £120,000 to demonstrate the sport's accessibility and to inspire the next generation through the three-year Panerai Challenger Trophy initiative.

Nominations close on Monday 01 April 2019. For more information about the award, selection criteria and the nomination process visit

For more information about how to get involved in sailing visit

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