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New boat boost for Ed, thanks to partnership between John Merricks Sailing Trust and RYA OnBoard

by Hamish Stuart 3 Dec 14:15 GMT
OnBoard JMST winner Ed Corbett © RYA Cymru Wales

Promising Mid Wales sailor Ed Corbett will no longer have to collect a boat in midweek before weekend competitions, thanks to a national programme helping young talent progress in the sport.

Llangorse youngster Corbett is one of thirteen youngsters from across the UK who have been handed a huge boost in their ambitions to become top class dinghy sailors and windsurfers.

The delighted sailors have been awarded exclusive use of their own boat or windsurfing board for the next two years through the on-going partnership between the John Merricks Sailing Trust and RYA OnBoard.

Launched in 2013, the partnership supports youngsters who display enthusiasm, drive, talent and commitment to the sport and who may not ordinarily have the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their goals. In its six years, 76 boats and boards have now been donated with some remarkable success stories.

"I am extremely happy with winning the boat. It is very exciting," said Ed. "Thank you so much for selecting me, I cannot wait to go sailing in it because I've always wanted my own boat and to get one of my own is amazing.

"I've never sailed a new boat before, the boat that I've been borrowing is twice my age and I'm only 10."

His dad Tom added, "To know we can just load up and go sailing from home will make such a difference to him and to us as a family.

"It will mean he can get on the water for training more frequently. It will also make a real and positive difference to have a boat with the latest rigging and a hull devoid of patches and scratches.

"We sincerely hope we can make the most of the opportunity having this Topper affords Ed."

The JMST seeks to help young sailors and youth sailing organisations to achieve their goals and was set up in the memory of 1996 Olympic silver medallist, John Merricks.

As OnBoard's official charity partner, JMST will donate at least 80 single-handed junior pathway boats and boards to promising sailors over eight years, giving them the chance to progress their skills and continue to participate in the sport.

Hannah Cockle, RYA OnBoard Operations Officer, added: "We cannot thank JMST enough for continuing to support the programme. For many of the winners it will be the difference between continuing in the sport and not. It is such a thrill telling the sailors and their families they have been successful because we know what a difference getting a boat or board will make to their lives.

"OnBoard is all about making it easier and cheaper to get more young people aged 8-18 on the water regularly and that is what the JMST partnership helps to achieve."

This year's recipients all applied for and were awarded their new boats or boards after attending their respective British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships at the end of September. Declarations of Eligibility for next year's applications will open in July 2020.

Since 2005, OnBoard has helped over three quarters of a million young people try sailing and windsurfing and learn an activity that often stays with them for life. The programme enables youngsters to enjoy all the excitement and relaxation being on the water offers, whilst nurturing a wide range of broader learning benefits and invaluable life skills, from problem solving to leadership and teamwork.

For more information about how to get involved in sailing visit rya.org.uk/go/onboard.

For further details about Welsh sailing and watersports, please go to RYA CYMRU Wales page on website or Facebook page or follow on Twitter @RYACymruWales. You can also keep up to date by following RYA Cymru Wales on Instagram.

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