2003 is the second year ISAF has committed to provide funding to support the attendance of sailors at ISAF Events, with funding towards travel and entry fees provided for sailors from 12 countries at the 2003 ISAF Youth Worlds in Madeira, Portugal.
The funding is aimed at sailors from those countries who have not previously participated in ISAF events, sailors from developing sailing countries and those where the financial costs make participation prohibitive.
Following on from the support given at the 2002 ISAF World Sailing Games in Marseille, France, where 38 sailors from 12 different countries benefited from funding, ISAF committed to provide a similar budget for the 2003 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. The ISAF Youth Worlds - often dubbed the Youth Olympics - is the premier world championship for youth sailors and 2003 will see the island of Madeira, Portugal hosting this annual Championship from 17-26 July 2003.
At the close of applications on 26 March 2003, 59 applications from 22 countries had been received at the ISAF Secretariat. ISAF was overwhelmed by the response, and as result had to apply a strict criteria in order to consider the applications and filter those which would receive funding.
Of first priority were those nations who had not previously participated at the ISAF Youth Worlds, and ISAF is delighted to be subsidising the travel and entry fee for one sailor from each of the Cook Islands, Cyprus, Pakistan, Puerto Rico and Samoa - ensuring the inaugural appearance of these countries.
The Cook Islands is sending a single entry to the Youth Worlds, in the form of Jan Sijp aged 15 who will be competing in the single-handed boys event in the Laser. Regarded as the Cook Islands top youth sailor, Jan will be looking to put the Cook Islands on the international Sailing map. Both Pakistan and Puerto Rico are sending sizeable teams. Whilst representation from Samoa and Cyrus looks as though it will be in the form of a single entry, with Blake Milroy from Samoa in the single-handed boys event and Andreas Sofroniou from Cyprus in the boardsailing event.
Second priority of funding went to those countries who may otherwise have been prevented from sending sailors for financial reasons, and this selection was based on the ISAF subscription category of the respective country. Applying this criteria, ISAF was pleased to confirm funding to cover 50% of the travel and entry costs of one sailor from each of Algeria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Estonia, Guam and Tahiti.
Representing Croatia is Gea Barbic - CROGB
- who will be looking to improve on her 4th placed result the 2001 ISAF Youth World Championship in the girl's single-handed dinghy event.
It was ISAF's wish that the funding provided be meaningful and a significant amount be given to a few countries, rather than a small amount being given to many, hence only 12 of the 22 countries that applied received funding.
However, for those countries that were granted funding, but had made multiple applications to the programme, the decision as to whether the funding provided by the Athlete Participation Programme 2003 be allocated to an individual sailor or spread across the applications made remains with the respective Member National Authority (MNA).
Estonia has decided to share the 50% funding amongst its two sailors who applied to the programme, Argo Vooremaa - ESTAV1 - and Merili Randmaa. Both sailors are competing in the single-handed dinghy events, with Argo in the Laser and Merili in the Laser Radial.
Commenting on the Athlete Participation Programme 2003, ISAF President Paul Henderson commented, "The ISAF Athlete Participation Programme made a real difference in 2002, enabling sailors to participate at the World Sailing Games who may otherwise never have had the opportunity. ISAF is thrilled to be continuing with the Programme in 2003 and of course especially delighted that the Programme is enabling five countries to participate for the first time in the ISAF Youth World Sailing Championship."
Coaching support will be provided to both those sailors on the Athlete Participation Programme and all sailors who are at the Youth Worlds by Jim Saltonstall. Priority is of course given to sailors who do not have coaches. Funding to send John to Madeira is kindly provided via the World Youth Sailing Trust.