The South Australian Sharpie fleet has announced a new travel grants program as an incentive for more sailors to attend the national championships, which often has significant costs associated with it.
The program allows teams doing it a little tough to apply to the state association for up to $250 in funding that will assist in the costs of sending a boat to the nationals.
SA Sharpies Vice President, Sean Keen, said this year's event was taking place at the Mounts Bay Sailing Club in Perth, which meant sailors were up for more time in the car and higher costs for petrol.
“This program came about as a way for us to support the next generation of Sharpie sailors in attending their national events,” Sean said.
“The Sharpie class mantra is all about bang-for-your-buck sailing, so if we find new ways to back our younger participants to attend more national events then we need to do all we can to achieve that.”
The Sharpie class already has a great track record around supporting junior entrants, with skippers under the age of 21 receiving free entry into national championships, and free entry for state championships in most states, SA included.
“I know first-hand what it's like to save up all year to attend a nationals, and every little bit helps in the long run,” the 24-year-old Sharpie sailor and committee member said.
“What I've found with the Sharpie class is that if young people show they're having fun and enjoying the events, the older sailors will do everything in their power to help them out.
“It's a class culture that is all about future proofing what we do and encouraging the next generation to get on board for the ride – and this grants program is just another way we can do that.”
The 2019-20 Sharpie Nationals will be held on the Swan River in Perth with up to 50 entries expected from right around Australia.
SA Sharpies Travel Grant application: https://www.sharpies.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/SA-Sharpies-Travel-Grant-PDF.pdf.
For more information on the Sharpie class, go to: www.sharpies.com.au