Twenty-year-old Rory McKinna says he is ‘lost for words’ after being paired with the Switzerland SailGP Team as a careers candidate during the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix in Plymouth.

The role, which was offered as part of SailGP’s Inspire program, saw Rory help out with the shore-side operation of the Swiss team ahead of, during and after the event.

Rory applied for the role after being contacted by disabled sailing program RYA Sailability. The Swiss team, which is campaigning for the reintroduction of sailing into the Paralympic Games, was on the lookout for a young disabled sailor to come and assist the team during the event.

As part of his role, Rory assisted in the build and maintenance of the Swiss team’s F50, which included washing and maintaining the winches, rigging and fairing.

He also supported the shore team operation, which included responsibility for the F50’s wing, foils and support boat throughout the event.

Season 3 // Switzerland SailGP Team // Rory McKinna inspire careers candidate portrait

Rory jumped for the chance to take part - ‘because why wouldn’t you?’ - and said the experience left him ‘lost for words’.

“I would say to anyone who offered the opportunity to get on the program - definitely do it,” he said.

Season 3 // Switzerland SailGP Team // Rory McKinna inspire careers candidate

Rory is a keen sailor himself and currently competes in an accessible sailing dinghy called a Hansa 303. He is also studying Urban Planning at the University of Dundee but plans to continue competing ‘as much as [he] can’.

Established in 2019, the Inspire Careers program offers students and young professionals aged 18+ a work experience opportunity within SailGP across all departments ranging from sustainability and photography and technical team roles.

The pool of candidates has a 50% female and 50% racially diverse requirement to help build a more inclusive talent pool for SailGP and the wider marine and sports industries.