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RORC Youth - Griffin24 Project Selection

by Louay Habib / RORC 2 Apr 19:58 BST
Griffin24 Project © James Tomlinson / RORC

The Royal Ocean Racing Club has supported youth sailing since 1947. This season, the Griffin24 Project has been embraced by 300 youth sailors from all over the world applying for the programme.

The RORC also offer all of the sailors opportunities through Crew Match on SailRaceHQ.

Royal Ocean Racing Club member Jim Driver took over as Chair of Griffin in December 2023. With funding from RORC, four Sun Fast 30 One Design boats have been chartered from Cap Regatta and are proving incredibly popular with young sailors to give them the opportunity and experience to race in the 2024 RORC Season's Points Championship.

In total, 300 sailors applied for the Griffin24 programme, of which 40 were chosen for two selection events held in Cowes in late March 2024. The sailors came from all over the UK, Europe, and the United States, with a wide range of experience from dinghy sailing to offshore racing and blue water cruising. In total 10 nationalities were represented at the selection events, with almost gender parity.

From the selection weekends, 20 sailors have been chosen to form the RORC Griffin24 squad. On 5-7 April they have their first training weekend, where the Griffin24 squad will be coached and mentored by a group of World Class sailors, including Dee Caffari, Shirley Robertson, Steve Hayles and Ian Walker. The Griffin Squad will then compete in a number of races in the RORC Season's Points Championship.

"The Griffin Project is designed to encourage and embrace youth sailing, we are giving 18-30 year olds the opportunity to go offshore sailing," commented Griffin Chair Jim Driver. "It is not an easy sport to get into and we are trying to remove some of those barriers. We have unearthed some fantastic youth sailors and we are bringing them together to form four racing teams. We hope that all of the sailors that have attended the selection weekends will have gained something; how to approach problems, how to communicate, and how to interact as part of a team. They have also learnt specific skills that they can take on to other campaigns and for their own personal development."

FourthCape, a Cowes based sailing project management company headed by Charles Darbyshire, are managing the Griffin training and selection weekends.

North Sails provided support with Ronan Grealish and Ian Walker running expert coaching on the selection and training weekends.

To get involved as a sailor, or to offer support to the Griffin Project, contact Griffin Chair Jim Driver:

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