Twelve-year-old sailor David Raimbault, who last week was representing the Island in Sardinia in the Jeux des Iles, has been awarded the 2012 Jersey Clipper Bursary, worth £600.
The annual award, a legacy from the three Jersey campaigns in the Clipper Round-the-World Race made possible through the generosity of Dandara, Les Pas Holdings and UBS, is designed to assist an Islander to achieve a nautical ambition.
David will be using the award to help with the travel costs of training and sailing his Optimist dinghy in the UK. The top ranked Optimist sailor in the Channel Islands, he hopes to gain a place on one of the RYA national Optimist squads next year.
‘I’m very excited that I have been selected to take part in the Optimist World & European Team Selection Trials, an event I didn’t expect to be selected for before making a national squad, and therefore not in my family’s budget!’ he said.
‘There are three national ranking events that I need to take part in. There will be hundreds of boats on the start line for these events and I need to be ranked in the top 50 at the end of the season to qualify for a squad.
‘I sail 12 months a year, whenever I can, no matter the weather – hot, cold, still or windy! I’ve had days when I’ve had to chip the ice off my boat, and bend every sheet to unfreeze them, before launching. I used to do lots of sports but have now decided to focus on sailing.’
Thanks to an anonymous donation, the Jersey Clipper Bursary trustees have been able to make an additional award of £150 to 13-year-old kayaker Ben Thorpe.
Aged 13, he has been kayaking for the last six years, successfully gaining initial awards through Jersey Kayak Adventure and the Jersey Scout Association before joining the Jersey Surf Kayak Club and developing the necessary skills for the sport
of surf kayaking.
Ben cannot progress any further at the moment, as he is not old enough to complete the next section of the British Canoe Union award scheme, despite already having the skills.
The bursary award will help him to achieve his goals of buying a new surf kayak, completing his awards and competing in the World Championships in Australia in 2013.