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SailGP education programme targets Bermuda’s youth

A young sailor rides the waves in the Inspire Racing x WASZP programme ahead of Bermuda SailGP in May 2022 (Photograph by Felix Diemer for SailGP)

Next week, hundreds of Bermudian schoolchildren will benefit from a hands-on education and outreach initiative courtesy of SailGP Inspire.

The programme, which will be held in the lead-up to the Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix on May 4 and 5, will take schoolchildren on a “behind the scenes SailGP tech tour” at Cross Island in the West End.

“Here they will get up close to the tech and innovation of the F50s, the high-speed flying catamarans that feature in the championship.”

The children will be taught “the science behind sailing, emphasising how this sport is truly powered by nature”.

Laura Hedley, SailGP Inspire Programme’s senior manager, said the organisation was excited to bring it back to the island — using “the science behind these flying boats to inspire a new generation of thinkers, young engineers and leaders”.

She called the F50 catamaran “a science lab on water”, amply equipped to teach youngsters about energy efficiency and inspire the solving of “real-world problems”.

Each young person involved in the Inspire programme will receive tickets to the Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix.

SailGP will team up with its partner, Endeavour, to offer hands-on learning under its BF&M No Limits Sailing Programme to students who are on the autism spectrum or experience developmental challenges.

Ten young Bermudians can join key departments of the SailGP operation, from “technical roles in boat building to being broadcast runners in the communications team”.

Along the way, young people will learn about careers the marine industry has to offer.

The programme will offer a foiling clinic and a WASZP single-person hydrofoiling dinghy racing programme.

SailGP said 12 Bermudian sailors who completed Endeavour’s programmes would attend the clinic to deliver “a first time experience of the thrilling racing form”.

Eight sailors “among the best of Bermuda’s on-island talent” will match skills with junior overseas sailors in WASZP races for a chance to attend the Grand Final in San Francisco in July, with the chance to race against other event winners.

SailGP founded the Inspire initiative to help diversify the sport for young people and bring down socio-economic barriers.

To date 19,961 young people have participated, exceeding the initial 10,000 target set. The league has increased its ambition to 25,000 by the end of Season 5.

The Inspire initiative is supported by Mubadala, the global partner for Season 4, Endeavour, and location hosts West End Development Corporation.

Tickets for next month’s Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix are available at SailGP.com/Bermuda.

The event’s festivities include a live concert by soca star, Kes the Band, following the opening day of racing.

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Published April 26, 2024 at 7:35 am (Updated April 26, 2024 at 6:59 am)

SailGP education programme targets Bermuda’s youth

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