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HRH The Duchess of Cambridge launches community sailing projects

Today HRH The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Land Rover BAR headquarters in Portsmouth, home of the America’s Cup team, to launch the 1851 Trust’s 2016 sailing programme.

The Trust, affiliate charity of Land Rover BAR, has partnered with two of the UK’s leading sailing charities, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation and UKSA, to give 3,000 young people from the Portsmouth and Solent area the chance to experience sailing and the benefits and opportunities it can bring.

The Portsmouth Sailing Project, delivered by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation and co-funded by Travis Perkins, will see 1,000 young people aged 9-13 from youth groups and organisations in the Portsmouth area get out on the water for the first time, and provide the opportunity for many of those participants to continue in the sport. Those who wish to take part in the Portsmouth Sailing Project can register online at  from Wednesday 1st June.

The Go Sail project, delivered by UKSA and funded by Sport England, will enable 2,000 14-16 years olds from Solent schools to have their first taste of sailing. The programme focusses on retention in sailing, on personal development of young people through the activity, and on career pathways in the marine industry. This project will be launched on 22 June at Land Rover BAR’s Base in Portsmouth to local teachers and youth group leaders.


Sir Keith Mills, 1851 Trust Chairman said “We have a unique opportunity to use the thrill and excitement of the America’s Cup to inspire and excite young people, both to get involved in sailing and to understand the technology and innovation behind it. The team’s recently established facilities in Portsmouth have raised awareness and excitement around the sport of sailing and we want to ensure that local young people are able to experience some of that excitement themselves, in ways that will benefit them both educationally and personally.”

UKSA’s CEO Ben Willows commented, “As a long established and experienced youth development sail training provider, we are privileged to be delivering these opportunities for the 1851 Trust. Through providing  pathways into local sailing clubs and our strong relationship with Sea Cadet bases we can offer 14 – 16 year olds from the local area the chance to not only try sailing for the first time but enable them to continue their participation, making sailing a sport for life. We are also able to offer a variety of destinations into education, employment or training through our other courses and partnerships with marine industry partners.”

ASSF CEO Richard Percy said; This is a great opportunity for more young people from Portsmouth and the surrounding areas to get out on the water, learn about sailing and most importantly have fun in a safe and friendly environment. The Portsmouth Sailing Project is the perfect platform for us to engage with young people that might not have ever considered getting into sailing, or had the opportunity to do so. Learning from 2015 we are really pleased to be able to offer an extended programme for around 50 children that want to continue sailing but aren’t in a position to fund it”.