Thirty of Denmark’s brightest sailing talents attended the first #ROCKTheBoat Academy in Copenhagen this weekend for the ultimate coaching experience – and even got a chance to race on the team’s foiling GC32 boat.
The #ROCKTheBoat Academy initiative – a collaboration between ROCKWOOL and the Denmark SailGP Team athletes – sees the youngsters receive coaching and tips from some of the world’s best sailors, including round-the-world racer Nicolai Sehested, Olympic champion Martin Kirketerp, America’s Cup winner Tom Johnson and multiple World Champion Rasmus Køstner.
“It’s been a fantastic weekend here at the #ROCKTheBoat Academy, and it’s all thanks to ROCKWOOL for supporting our Team ROCKWOOL Racing initiative,” said Sehested (30), the youngest helmsman on the SailGP start line.
“Just as with SailGP’s Inspire programme, we want to inspire these young athletes to dream big, and there is a lot of potential and talent in this group – we could well be looking at some of Denmark’s future SailGP athletes here.”
He added: “We’re particularly excited to see almost a 50-50 split in terms of gender, which is really encouraging for the next generation of Danish sailing.”
The youngsters, aged between 13 and 22 years old, were split into two classes – Waszp and 29er – and received personal on-water coaching, plus tactical racing tips and advice on how to become a professional athlete.
ROCKWOOL CEO Jens Birgersson added: “This isn’t just about ROCKWOOL, it’s about the future of sailing in Denmark and beyond. We want to link the strategy from the F50 in SailGP to inspire these youngsters to try fast, foiling boats so that they one day could be sailing for Denmark in SailGP.”
On Sunday morning, the sailors were put through their paces with a #ROCKSolid workout, led by Denmark SailGP Team athletes Hans-Christian and Lars-Peter Rosendahl (23).
The twin brothers grew up sailing out of Skovshoved, and now find themselves as two of the hottest prospects in SailGP.
“It’s been awesome to see the group develop over the past few days,” explained Hans-Christian. “It’s circularity, in a way – we’re coming back to close the circle. This is where we learned to sail, so it’s very cool to be back here and helping the next generation to develop and have fun. Of course, the circle doesn’t end here for us, it just keeps getting bigger.”
The Copenhagen event is the first of two #ROCKTheBoat Academy sessions taking place in Denmark this summer – with the next scheduled on August 15-16 in Aarhus.