The Rolex Next Step Programme was established in 1997 to expose juniors to advanced women's sailing in a mentoring atmosphere. Since its creation, the Rolex Next Step Programme has served as an inspiration for hundreds of young women from across the USA and abroad.
Junior women sailors, 13 to 17 years old, can apply online at the Annapolis Yacht Club Website.. Entries should include a letter of recommendation from a sailing coach or instructor as well as an essay about how the junior sailor's desire to be part of the Next Step Programme. The deadline for entries is 15 July 2005.
This year's Rolex Next Step Programme begins on Friday 16 September with a welcome party and workshop at J Port Annapolis, featuring asymmetrical spinnaker sailing with Rolex IWKC competitors aboard J/80s provided by J Port Sailing Club and J World Annapolis.
Saturday 17 September features a 'dinghy to keelboat' clinic with America's Cup campaign veteran Tucker THOMPSON and US SAILING Instructor Trainer Nan Leute WALKER, office manager of Severn Sailing Association. A barbecue and informal conversation with elite-level women sailors at AYC will follow.
On Sunday morning, 18 September, there will be a breakfast for the Next Step juniors with a talk by 2004 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year SWANSON and USA Olympian Liz FILTER. That afternoon, former US SAILING president, Jim MULDOON will host the juniors aboard his well-known offshore racer, Donnybrook, for lunch and to observe the Rolex IWKC practice race. Participants will be presented with certificates of achievement from Rolex.
The Notice of Race for the Rolex IWKC is available online on the US SAILING Website. For sailors wanting more information about the 2005 Rolex IWKC, you can register for email alerts on the US SAILING or Annapolis Yacht Club Websites.
Inaugurated in 1985 at the instigation of the US SAILING's Women's Championship Committee, the Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship quickly became the premier women's sailing event in the USA and worldwide. Held biennially, the event provides women keelboat and offshore sailors high-quality racing and an opportunity to compete with top national and international sailors. Betsy ALISON (USA) won the first event and from 1991 through 1997 had an unbroken winning streak competing against teams from a dozen or more nations. Rolex Watch U.S.A. has sponsored the regatta since its inception. The event is part of US SAILING's Adult National Championships series.