by Sarah Alexander
Continuing its long-term support for British Sailing, Volvo Car UK has launched the ‘Volvo Sailing Academy’ initiative – a series of free, family-friendly sailing and powerkiting experiences to introduce beginners, young and old, to the sport.
Volvo Car UK has been a key sponsor of British sailing since 1999, supporting everything from youth development at grassroots through to Britain’s top sailors at the pinnacle of the sport. Now, on the back of the sports’ 2012 Olympic success, the academies will give people across the UK the opportunity to try sailing.
Britain’s top sailors and medallists are supporting the nationwide events with some, including Olympic silver medallists Saskia Clark and Stuart Bithell, making appearances to inspire and mentor guests during the unique taster session.
“Almost a year on from London 2012 it is great to see the sporting legacy is still going strong. The focus now is to continue to inspire and encourage new people into the sport; from those at an Olympic level passing on tips and sailing knowledge, to club members taking a friend along to try something new.
“The Volvo Sailing Academies offer a great kick-starter for any grassroots and first-time sailor, and an opportunity to have some fun on the water while gaining an insight into this exciting sport”, commented four-times Olympic gold medallist and Team Volvo ambassador, Sir Ben Ainslie.
470 medallist, Saskia Clark will be launching the first event in association with Hayling Island Sailing Club Open Day on Monday 6th May. Stuart Bithell, who is back competing and on the road to Rio 2016 along with his new crew, Chris Grube will be heading along to the second event, in association with Rutland Water Sailing Club Open day on Saturday 1st June. Both events will also offer a powerkiting experience with Extreme British Kitesurfer and World Speed Record Holder, Sam Lutman-Pauc and Dom Moore, an influential figure in the British Kitesurfing World
The first stand alone Volvo Sailing Academy follows on Saturday 6th July at Queen Mary Sailing Club where Team SCA 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race crew, Annie Lush and Olympic silver medallist, Hannah Mills will be coaching, inspiring and entertaining with their sailing stories.
“The Volvo Sailing Academy is very much a long-term plan for Volvo Car UK and something we will continue to develop and grow over the next few years. We are looking forward to giving something back to all those who watched and supported the British Sailing Team last summer and by using our sailing stars as mentors we hope the events will spark an interest and encourage people to try something new”, said Nikki Rooke, Head of Corporate Communications, Events and Sponsorship for Volvo Car UK.
All the 2013 events are free of charge but places are limited and must be booked in advance. To book a place for you and your family please click HERE.
There are also eight weekend academies being planned for 2014, with Volvo Car UK in discussions with a number of potential Academy venues.