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2023 Cowes Week - Winner of inaugural Youth Trophy announced

by Sue Pelling / CWL 2 Aug 2023 22:38 BST 29 July - 4 August 2022
Cowes Week Youth Trophy 2023 : (L-R) Christopher-Joel Frederick (winner), Laurence Mead (CWL Regatta Director) and Peter Morton © Becci Stokeld

To celebrate Youth Day at Cowes Week on Wednesday 2 August, a new trophy - Cowes Week Youth Trophy - was awarded at a reception hosted by Montgomery Estate Planning this evening. This new trophy, to recognise outstanding commitment and achievement among the young sailors competing here at Cowes Week, is in addition to the Montgomery Estate Planning Under 25 Trophy and the Musto Young Skipper's Trophy.

There was no racing on this day due to high winds

The inaugural winner of this new award is Christopher-Joel Frederick (18) who has been has been a leading figure in Greig City Academy's Scaramouche Youth Sailing Project since its first appearance at Cowes Week back in 2016.

Christopher-Joel, from Tottenham, has been sailing for seven years and has grasped every sailing opportunity that has come his way. He has been a consistent part of the fundraising programme to enable his team and others in the Scaramouche programme to compete.

Coming from a non-sailing background and an inner-city community in London, Christopher-Joel has overcome very challenging circumstances. He is a shining example about how sailing can be used to transform a young person's life chances.

His passion for racing was recognised at the age of 13 when he completed his first Fastnet Race aboard Scaramouche. He then went onto restore and campaign Riot an Intro 22, which he and the team raced at Cowes Week three years ago. This was the boat that Christopher-Joel and team worked hard on, upgrading the systems, rig and sail plan with the great support of the late Sam Richmond from North Sails.

However, in the last three weeks Christopher-Joel has really shown his true potential according to his mentor/teacher Jon Holt: "He was completing his day skipper course over five days. On the Thursday evening the opportunity to take part in the Fastnet Race came up with Cowes Week's official charity (Tall Ships Youth Trust). Chris jumped at the opportunity.

The timescales were so tight that on the last day of his course a RIB intercepted his Day Skipper boat and transferred him straight onto Challenger 2 and off he went. He finished last Thursday, got off the boat, jumped on the ferry and arrived in Cowes for the start of Cowes Week. This week he is competing with Malcolm Offord aboard the HP30 Assassin."

With a huge amount of experience under his belt and with a focus to not only work in the superyacht industry but also continue racing, Christopher-Joel has a bright future ahead.

A delighted Christopher-Joel commenting on the award said: "I feel very privileged to have won this award, it came as such a surprise as I thought everything I was doing was completely normal. I love sailing and it felt so natural to me when I first started so when the opportunity came up to continue, I took it.

Cowes Week has been good so far, we are a new crew and we're testing our luck in a new boat so we're still getting used to it. We have had a few decent results and hope it continues throughout the week.'

Regatta Director Laurence Mead said: "Whilst much of Cowes Week is about racing and winning trophies, a big part is also about taking part and enjoying the sport of sailing and it is intended that this new trophy will recognise young sailors who have done something notable in the sport in the past year, irrespective of whether they won first place or not. The Cowes Week Youth Trophy will be awarded annually to a recipient chosen by senior members of the Cowes Week organising team and Christopher-Joel is a very worthy inaugural winner."

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