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SailGP's Inspire Program leaves a lasting legacy with sailing clubs around Sydney

by Australia SailGP Team 25 Jan 07:18 GMT
Young sailors take part in the Inspire RS Sailing program look on as Denmark SailGP Team presented by ROCKWOOL helmed by Nicolai Sehested sails past on Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG Race Day 1 © Phil Hilyard for SailGP

The Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG ended in epic fashion, but not without the added generosity of SailGP's Inspire program and some of its valued partners.

Through the event, SailGP Inspire and its partners were able to instill a legacy for the future of young local sailors, leaving lasting impact for three local sailing clubs in Sydney. This included the refurbishment of boats for Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Sailing Club and Gosford Sailing Club, and the donation of essential items to Narrabeen Lakes Sailing Club, following a devastating clubhouse fire.

The Inspire RS Feva class racing program in Sydney saw 16 youth showcase their skills on Sydney Harbour during the SailGP event weekend, hosted through the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Sailing Club and Gosford Sailing Club - home club to Australia's own Tom Slingsby.

Understanding the value these boats present for young sailors, and as a show of gratitude, SailGP Inspire, along with its partners - Marlow Ropes, Doyle Sails, and RS Sailing - refurbished the entire RS Feva fleet. New ropes, eight sets of sails and spinnakers, along with rudders and tiller extensions to replace damaged ones, were provided to both Hornsby Ku-ring-gai and Gosford sailing clubs.

RS Sailing CEO Jon Partridge said: "The Australia Sail Grand Prix presented by KPMG gave the RS Sailing team another opportunity to refresh some local RS Fevas enabling them to be used in the Inspire program and creating a lasting legacy. It has been our privilege to work with local clubs over the course of Season 2 and support them in getting their RS Feva fleets refreshed."

Doyle Sails International Chief Operating Officer Emma Hendy said: "Doyle Sails and SailGP Inspire share the same passion for supporting local youth and sailors from all over the world. SailGP Inspire leaves a legacy behind that will continue to support, inspire and grow local communities for many years to come, long after each event finishes and we're very proud to be a small part of this legacy."

In stark contrast to the activities and celebrations in Sydney Harbour was the news of a devastating fire at the 115 year old Narrabeen Lakes Sailing Club, where thankfully no one was hurt. On hearing the story and understanding the damages sustained to the building, SailGP's Inspire partner Rooster and the Australia SailGP Team pulled resources together and provided support toward the replacement of equipment, and to aid in the raising of funds to rebuild the clubhouse.

Australia SailGP Team driver Tom Slingsby said: "Narrabeen is a tight knit sailing community, so we knew the devastating impact that the clubhouse fire would have had on the local sailors and particularly their youth program. We wanted to share our support through donating items that will help the community rebuild what is a pillar to the local sailing community of Narrabeen."

SailGP's Inspire program - the global league's community outreach initiative - opens doors for young people between the ages of 9 and 23, eliminating gender, racial, and socioeconomic barriers, with a focus on using sport for good in its Race for the Future. Instilling a legacy for the future of young sailors in and around the Sydney region is key to maintaining Inspire's three key program pathways - Learning, Career, and Racing.

Forging relationships through efforts such as its Adopt-a-Club program - pairing local sailing clubs at each event with SailGP teams - Inspire further exposes young people to professional sailing athletes and other industry professionals, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many. Each of the eight sailing clubs in the Sydney region were able to partake in virtual technical tours of their partner SailGP team's base, engaging Q&A team sessions, host themed events including a Danish pastry party, and nominate two rising stars - a male and a female from the club - to race onboard the RS Fevas.

Training Officer at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Sailing Club Alex Stewart Said: "The SailGP Inspire program enthused our club's youth sailors with the opportunity to get up close to the F50's and SailGP stars, while learning from the world's best. The main legacy for us as a club is having a fleet of RS Feva's that can help people learn to sail and race for at least the next 10 years! Our adoption by the Spain team gave our club great insight into their campaign and enabled us to run fantastic social events promoting SailGP and the Inspire programme with our members and friends."

SailGP heads to San Francisco with its Inspire program for the United States Sail Grand Prix, Season 2's Grand Final, taking place March 26-27. Tickets for fan experiences are on sale, and selling fast. To find out more and secure your tickets visit SailGP.com/UnitedStates.

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