Young sailors shortlist for Panerai Challenger Trophy revealed

Ben Tylecote

Three young OnBoard (OB) sailors have been shortlisted for the 2020 Panerai Challenger Trophy, an award which promotes the power of sailing in positively impacting young people’s lives.

Run by the RYA, OnBoard is a grass roots programme which introduces sailing and windsurfing to young people aged 8 to 18, through schools, youth groups and training centres. The low cost sessions are designed to promote equal access to sailing for young people from all social and economic backgrounds, whilst encouraging their character development.

The Panerai Challenger Trophy recognises outstanding individuals who have embraced the power of sailing or windsurfing to achieve a personal triumph that inspires other people. It also recognises and rewards the OnBoard clubs or centres which have made this possible.

Thirty one nominations were received from OnBoard clubs and centres, sharing the achievements of their young sailors, and outlining how winning the award would help the sailor continue their development and enable the club/centre invest in supporting other young sailors to thrive on the water.

George Ford

This year’s finalists are Ben Tylecote (Rutland SC), Nieve Ball (Burton SC) and George Ford (Walton and Frinton YC).

Ben Tylecote was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive cancer when he was 12. Gruelling treatment and surgeries followed, including Ben having his eye removed but sailing was his salvation.

He returned to competition at the 2018 RS Games, months after finishing treatment. Despite exhaustion, he continued sailing every weekend, helping coach the juniors and competing when he could. Last October Ben led the team that won the RYA Eric Twiname National Team Racing Championships.

George Ford was hooked on sailing ever since his mum found a sailing course for him and his brother during the summer holidays. He continued to sail through OnBoard and achieved his RYA Stage 2, 3 and 4. 

Sadly three years ago, George’s mum was diagnosed with cancer and passed away last summer. George continued to get on the water and his club invited him to start assisting with the club’s OB sessions. He successfully achieved his Seamanship Skills and Assistant Instructor certificates and is now a valued member of the instructor team. He can start his Dinghy Instructor course when he turns 16 next October.

Nieve Ball

Nieve won the 2019 RYA Musto Regional Youth Award for the Midlands and before lockdown was organising a ‘have a go’ This Girl Can event to inspire more females to try windsurfing. Having started through OB, Nieve has now been selected for the RYA Zone Squad and Techno 293 Development Squad. She hopes to compete at the Techno Worlds in Garda in October.

Ben, Nieve and George will all receive £2,500 to further their understanding, enjoyment or participation in sailing, each along with £5,000 to further the OnBoard aims and work of their clubs.

On Friday 30 October, one of them will be revealed as the overall Panerai Challenge Trophy winner for 2020 and be awarded £5,000 for their own sailing and £10,000 for their club. 

Spotlight Job

OEM business development manager UK

Southampton (hybrid)

Vetus is seeking a dynamic and highly motivated OEM business development manager to join its team in the UK. In this pivotal role, you will be responsible for preparing and implementing a comprehensive account plan, aimed at achieving ambitious sales and marketing objectives.

Full job description »

Comments are closed.

This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

Skip to content