The generous donation of a Sydney 32 state-of-the-art offshore racing yacht to Southport Yacht Club will result in the ‘Ocean Mentor' youth training program being established on the Gold Coast
The highly successful program, which was developed by Queensland-based philanthropist and businessman, Peter Teakle, in South Australia three years ago, is designed to attract young men and women aged between 14 and 18 to a sport which might otherwise be inaccessible to them. These youngsters will be mentored by successful young Southport Yacht Club offshore sailors and taught all aspects of ocean racing, including boat handling, navigation and tactics.
In presenting the yacht to the club Mr Teakle said he had decided to establish the Ocean Mentor programme through the SYC because of the club's energetic activities across all aspects of sailing, including junior dinghy sailing. He saw a need for this programme within the Gold Coast community as it would introduce young people to a clean and healthy environment, and a sport they could enjoy for the rest of their lives.
The Ocean Mentor programme will be coordinated by the SYC's Sailing Manager, Shane Smith. Young people, especially those with no previous sailing experience, will be invited to submit an application to the SYC seeking participation in the program.
The immediate plan is to develop a crew for the inaugural Sail Paradise ocean racing series out of Southport Yacht Club in January. The next major event they will contest after that will be Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August.