With an annual budget of £15,000 to help young sailors pay for travel costs and entry fees, the APP has now assisted well over 100 youngsters taking part in youth sailing's premier event. In the four Youth Worlds prior to 2003 an average of 38 nations attended the Championship, since then that figure has risen to an average of 50. At the 2006 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Weymouth, Great Britain 19 sailors funded on the APP contributed to a record breaking total of 281 sailors from 63 nations competing, including Barbados who participated at the Championship for the first time thanks to the APP.
For Barbados, their participation has had a knock on effect nationally. Gregory DOUGLAS who represented Barbados noted, 'Through the support of ISAF, Barbados was able to send a representative to this event for the very first time. This was publicized nationally through press releases in the newspaper and the Barbados Yacht Club's newsletter. Young Barbadian sailors are now very much aware that they also have the opportunity to compete at an international level. The general public is also more aware of sailing as a competitive sport.'
For the young sailors attending the ISAF Youth Worlds, the benefits are not just being able to compete against the best in the world. The World Youth Sailing Trust fund the appointment of renowned British coach Jim SALTONSTALL, who works with the sailors right through the series to develop their skills.
Many of the sailors on the APP have proved what dramatic steps forward can be taken in such a short space of time. Last year, Alvaro GALDOS of Peru left the Americas for the first time to compete in Weymouth. Having never competed on the RS:X board before, he struggled at the start but remained positive throughout. 'When the RS:X comes to Peru I am going to teach all of my friends, because I will be the first to have used it and maybe in Peru, I'll be first on the race course.' A series best score of 11 in the penultimate day was reward for all the hard work put in over the week.
Entry Deadline Extended
ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs) are reminded that 26 January 2007 (extended until 23 February 2007) is the entry deadline for applications to the APP for this year's Youth Worlds, taking place in Kingston, Ontario, Canada from 12-21 July. Sailors and parents interested in the APP should contact their MNA to make an application.
In February, ISAF will confirm the MNAs and sailors selected for the 2007 APP.