Twenty two of Britain’s aspiring young keelboat sailing talents have come through a gruelling two-weekend selection process to earn their call up to the British Keelboat Academy (BKA), the RYA and UKSA’s joint keelboat racing initiative. The BKA received an incredible 75 applications from young sailors from across the country which were whittled down to 40 applicants who were invited over to UKSA’s headquarters in Cowes, Isle of Wight, for the BKA selection weekends (17/18 & 24/25 September).

The weekends comprised of a range of activities to test not only the candidates’ sailing abilities, but also other personal skills such as the ability to work in teams and perform under pressure. Being able to compete at a high level and run successful keelboat racing campaigns is not only about sailing ability, so these other areas were a major part of what the selectors were looking for in order to choose suitable sailors for the BKA. [sounds like a graduate management training scheme selection process! (Ed)]

Those selected, most in higher education, are:

Alex Grant (Cowes, Isle of Wight – Edinburgh University)
Alex Mathews (East Grinstead, West Sussex – University of Bath)
Alice Butler (Salisbury, Wilts)
Alistair Norris (Preston, Lancashire – Nottingham University)
Ben Gibson (East Cowes, Isle of Wight)
Callum McCullough (Daventry, Northamptonshire)
Chris Robson (Edinburgh – Edinburgh Napier University)
David Harsent (Staines, Middlesex – graduate of Hull University)
Fergus Barnham (Norfolk)
Jack Whiting (Colchester, Essex – University of Plymouth)
Jo Ireland (Falmouth, Cornwall – Exeter University)
Leo Schofield (Jersey, Channel Isles – Plymouth University)
Liam Gardner (Wirral, Merseyside – Portsmouth University)
Nathan Thorne (Gwynedd) Nia Jones (Cardiff – Exeter University)
Oliver Essex (Ipswich, Suffolk – Warsash Maritime Academy, Solent University)
Pete McCoy (Emsworth, Hampshire – Plymouth University)
Ross Carmichael (Dumfries & Galloway – University of Strathclyde)
Serena de Nahlik (Rugby, Warwickshire – St Johns College Oxford)
Trystan Seal (Lampeter, Ceredigion)
Will Goldsmith (Colchester, Essex – University of Kent)
Will Semken (Yelverton, Devon – Southampton University)

We wish them fair winds!

See attached RYA/UKSA Press Release

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