James awarded use of a Topper dinghy

SAIL­ING

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT -

AS­PIR­ING young sailor James Smag­gas­gale has been awarded two years’ ex­clu­sive use of a Topper dinghy do­nated by the John Mer­ricks Sail­ing Trust.

The 10-year-old from Ruis­lip was one of 13 young­sters na­tion­ally who were se­lected from more than 70 ap­pli­cants after com­pet­ing in the RYA Zone and Home Coun­try Cham­pi­onships.

On hear­ing of his se­lec­tion for the award Smag­gas­gale said: “It is re­ally ex­cit­ing to re­ceive this boat, I’m look­ing for­ward to sail­ing it in my next event, I hope it’s windy!”

RYA On­Board op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer, Cat Fer­gu­son said: “This is the sec­ond year we’ve teamed up with the JMST to run this scheme which is aimed at help­ing am­bi­tious young sailors to progress in the sport.

“The boats and boards that the JMST have do­nated will pro­vide th­ese sailors, who may not have or­di­nar­ily had the op­por­tu­nity, to progress their skills with the high­est qual­ity equip­ment to con­tinue to par­tic­i­pate in sail­ing.”

Run by the RYA, On­Board is a grass roots pro­gramme which in­tro­duces sail­ing and wind­surf­ing to young peo­ple aged eight to 18, through schools, youth groups and train­ing cen­tres.

JMST seeks to help young sailors and youth sail­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions to achieve their goals and was set up in the mem­ory of lead­ing Olympic sailor and 1996 Olympic sil­ver medal­list John Mer­ricks.

Photo by Claire Tom­lin

EX­CITED BY NEWS: Ruis­lip sailor

James Smag­gas­gale

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