Hundreds of Bermudians benefitted from SailGP’s Inspire program during the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess, with numerous efforts employed to support their sailing, learning and career development both on and off of the water.
SailGP Inspire partnered with Bermuda-registered charity Endeavour to engage a total of 426 young people through a variety of initiatives, including shoreside work experience opportunities with SailGP’s teams and youth sailing competitions on the same racecourse as SailGP’s supercharged F50s.
Over 150 young people from schools across the island engaged in hands-on learning activities and attended unique behind the scenes tours with SailGP teams, learning about the technology and sustainability behind the F50s
A total of 22 young people aged 18-23 took part in SailGP work experience placements while 61 young sailors took to the water during the event.
Elijah Samuels, Endeavour Maritime Springboard Grad & SailGP Technical Team intern, said: "I really enjoyed being able to do wing configuration changes, being able to be directly involved with setting up the wings for sailing. I thought that this was a really great experience and one I will never forget!"
Another key moment was the landmark triumph of 16-year-old Rachael Betschart, who became the first female winner of the WASZP foiling class. For the first time, Inspire partnered with BF&M to host a group of students on the autism spectrum on a technical tour as part of wider learning initiatives in Bermuda.
SailGP Youth Program Manager Tom Herbert-Evans said: “The program in Bermuda was all about getting a new wave of interest in sailing and the maritime industry in partnership with the Endeavour program. We are looking forward to continuing this into Season 4 and establishing a relationship with the community and inspiring young Bermudians for years to come.”
SailGP also teamed up with Endeavour for the second consecutive year to facilitate an online silent auction that has now raised over $26,000.
Funds raised will be used to support young Bermudians to gain skills and experience at other SailGP venues around the world during Season 3. It will also mean that young people who have completed Endeavour’s programmes will be eligible for scholarships to enable them to continue sailing at local clubs in Bermuda.
The auction, which ran for a month, offered a variety of exclusive experiences and premium items donated by SailGP, its teams and partners.
Standout prizes included a two night stay at the Hamilton Princess, tours of team bases, chase boat experiences and merchandise signed by SailGP’s athletes.
SailGP also partnered with RS Sailing to upgrade eight RS Feva sailing dinghies owned by Endeavour with $3,000 worth of parts replaced.
Herbert-Evans explained: “The concept is to rejuvenate existing fleets instead of a replacement mentality - this included renewing the rigging, hardware and ergonomic aids on board the fleet,”
He added that the refurbishment of the fleet would ensure many ‘young Bermudians are out on the water for many years to come’.