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Volvo Weekend With Edge

Top British talent inspire at the first Volvo Sailing Academy of the season in Exmouth 


The first Volvo Sailing Academy of the year was successfully hosted at Exe Sailing Club in Exmouth this past weekend supported by some of the UK¹s top sailors and kite surfers.

Winds recorded up to 52 knots only contributed to the excitement of the day and were perfect for the power-kiting and sailing taster sessions that were on offer. Steph, Olly and Guy Bridge, three out of the five members of Exmouth¹s own family of all-star international kitesurfers taught beginners the basics of power-kiting in Exe Estuary, while London 2012 gold medallist Helena Lucas


Local legend and four time World Kitesurf Champion, Steph Bridge said: ³For many people it is not possible to get an opportunity for structured tuition and have a Œtaster session¹. The Volvo Sailing Academy initiative gives people the chance to get on the water, get wet and have a go at these different activities we all enjoy and get us to where we are today.²


In addition to putting on sailing and powerkiting taster sessions, the free one-day event also offered a range of family-friendly activities, including radio-controlled car racing, a boat building competition made out of recyclable materials and a colouring competition.


London 2012 champion Helena Lucas who took time out of her busy World Class Programme training schedule to introduced new sailors to the sport, even brought along her Paralympic gold medal to inspire some of the younger novices. Helena commented: ³I think we had a fantastic event considering the tricky conditions and the really strong wind. We¹ve come away and I think everyone learned something new this weekend and that¹s what it was all about.²


Many of Britain¹s top Olympic class sailors started through the RYA Youth Programme and the Optimist class, both of which are supported by Volvo Car UK¹s commitment to youth and grassroots sailing. Volvo Car UK¹s aim in having  top sailors on hand at the Volvo Sailing Academies is to inspire beginners, young and old, by offering a memorable and positive introduction to the sport.


Eilidh McIntyre, top British 470 sailor and daughter of Olympic sailing gold medallist Mike McIntyre, said: ³I had a massive smile on my face all weekend and I saw lots of other people with a matching one. I hope we helped to share our passion for sailing and inspired some new people to join in. Sailing is once of the most successful Olympic sports in Britain and Volvo Car UK always put on such amazing events that are incredible for helping increase participation and moving the success of the sport forward.”


On Sunday the three top sailors spent time on the water with club members holding advanced, intense coaching sessions for those wanting to progress in the sport and passing on knowledge that has helped them claim Olympic and World Championship titles.


Exe Sailing Club¹s Commodore, Dave Preston said: ³Despite the strong winds that we had, every single person I spoke to had a massive adrenaline rush from the weekend. The British Sailing Team sailors that were helping out brought a certain vibrancy to the weekend that really supported our efforts to encourage more youngsters to get involved in the sport. We had a number of new membership inquiries from many of the people who got out on the water or even just came down to see what was going on.²


Volvo Car UK has been a key sponsor of British sailing since 1999, supporting everything from youth development at grass roots through to Britain¹s top sailors at the pinnacle of the sport. As part of their continued support the Volvo Sailing Academy is an initiative to ³get the country sailing², offering friends and family of all ages and abilities the exclusive chance to join some of Britain¹s top sailors, kitesurfers and coaches on the water for a fun introduction to a range of water-based sports.


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