Young sailor’s delight at award of new boat
A JUNIOR member of Teesdale Sailing and Watersports Club is celebrating after being awarded a new boat in a national scheme to support up and coming talent.
Toby Waggett is one of 13 promising sailors and windsurfers from across the UK who have been given exclusive use of their own boat or board for the next two years thanks to a partnership between the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) and the Royal Yachting Association’s OnBoard scheme for young people. The boat will then be given to Teesdale Sailing and Watersports Club to benefit other young sailors in the future.
Toby, who has been awarded an Optimist racing dinghy, learnt how to sail at Grassholme and has always had to borrow a second-hand club boat. Mum Deborah said: “He was so excited when he read the mail telling him about it.”
Toby competes at the club and further afield, recently winning the Optimist regatta fleet at the British Youth Sailing North Junior Championships at Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club.
The nine-year-old, from Eggleston, said it was his dream to one day be a part of the British Sailing Team.
“I am so happy I have a new boat – it means I can compete in many competitions. I want to be in the top 20 of the Optimist national fleet by 2021 and then go on to be in Team GB or The America’s Cup when I am old enough.”
Teesdale Sailing and Watersports Club development officer Tony Merry added: “He is proving to be a fast learner and a very popular race participant.
“On the water Toby is making excellent progress and having attended many regattas and training sessions away from the club he is becoming a formidable competitor.”
The JMST was set up in memory of 1996 Olympic silver medallist John Merricks. Every year at least one promising young sailor is selected from each of the RYA regions and home countries to receive a boat or board, giving them a chance to stay in the sport and develop their skills.
To learn more about getting on the water with Teesdale Sailing and Watersports Club and its active junior section visit www.tdswc.org.uk.