Geelong appoints the Festival of Sails’ inaugural Youth Ambassador

Young local sailing star, 17-year-old Evie McDonald from Geelong has been appointed the Festival of Sails’ inaugural Youth Ambassador.

Sailing from the age of 8 with the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, Evie’s sailing career has blossomed and seen her go on to win major national and international sailing accolades and this year, she’ll compete in her third Passage Race which is the opening race of the 2024 Festival of Sails.

Festival of Sails Chairman, Paul Buchholz announced Evie’s appointment saying she was the perfect choice to inspire and motivate other young potential sailors.

“Not only is Evie an enthusiastic, skilled and internationally awarded sailor, she’s a great example of how young people can grow with the sport of sailing, either for leisure or on a competitive level,” he said.

“We really want to encourage other young people to get involved in sailing and we think Evie’s just the girl to spread the word. We’re delighted to welcome her to her new role as our first Youth Ambassador!”

Just some of Evie’s sailing triumphs include winning the 2022/2023 International Cadet National Championships in Melbourne, third place at the 2023 International Cadet World Championships in Belgium and first female helm, as well as placing sixth in the same event in Belgium in 2022 and again, taking out first female helm.

“I am very honoured to be appointed the first Youth Ambassador for the regatta,” said Evie. “I love the Geelong Yacht Club and am so grateful for all the opportunities that the club and sailing have – and continue – to give me.”

“I am so passionate about sailing; I love teaching the little kids at the club and would really love more and more young people to get involved. It’s just fantastic!” 

During the Festival, Evie will be giving organisers a hand with a number of promotional opportunities such as the Discover Sailing event being held on Saturday, January 27 which encourages the public to give sailing a go under the watchful eye of experienced sailors.

“It should be great fun and anything I can do to spread the word about sailing, is always something I’ll jump at,” said Evie.

“The Festival of Sails is always such a fun event, I hope everybody gets involved.”

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