Two young sailors have won the chance to put to sea with America’s national sailing programme.
Aidyn Park, 12, and Tyler Correira, 11, have secured places on an exchange programme with the United States Sailing Programme in Newport, Rhode Island, during the Volvo Ocean Race.
Aidyn said: “It was fun. I enjoyed the sailing part the most and learning about team racing.
“I liked going in and seeing how boat parts are made.”
He added: “I decided to join the programme because I love sailing and I want to learn more about it. I want to carry on with the programme and I’d like to race one for the America’s Cup boats — you have to be strong and have stamina.”
The pair secured their spots because of their outstanding achievements in the Endeavour Community Sailing Programme, part of the legacy of last year’s America’s Cup.
Aidyn, a pupil at Dellwood Middle School, and Tyler, of Sandys Middle School, spent five days in Newport last month. They sailed and also learnt about boat building and tried blow karting — land yachts with sails.
The schoolboys also learnt about the environment of Rhode Island and ocean conservation.
The Endeavour Graduate Programme is a combination of the Endeavour middle school and after-school programmes.
Students are selected based on their excellence in key areas — not just sailing ability, but also teamwork, respect for others, listening skills, willingness to learn and effort.
Aidyn and Tyler had to submit an application form to explain why they were interested in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education through sailing to win their trip.
The two, accompanied by Josh Greenslade, the Endeavour programme manager, visited the Roger Williams University Marine Fisheries and Sailing Centre, the Ocean Exploration Zone at the Volvo Ocean Race village, the Audubon Society nature reserve and the International Yacht Restoration School.
They also met Emily Nagel, a Team BDA sailor at the America’s Cup, who went on to take part in the Volvo Ocean Race.
Tyler said: “My favourite thing was going to see how the boats were manufactured.
“I also enjoyed going sailing on the boats and going on the Volvo Ocean Race boats.
“We went blow karting. It’s like sailing on land — it’s like a go-kart but you use it for sailing.
It shows you how to use a wheel, but you use a tiller for sailing.
“You still have to use your sail so it helps you to learn about wind direction.”
Tyler added: “I want to carry on sailing. I’d like to get into racing, but not for a career, more as a hobby.”
To find out more about Endeavour visit: facebook.com/endeavourprogram/