SailGP Inspire – the global high-performance yacht racing league’s community, education and outreach initiative – will relaunch in Bermuda at the opening event of SailGP Season 2 with an increased focus on inclusivity and diversity.
The program aims to leave a lasting legacy in all eight grand prix host countries in 2021-22.
Launched in 2019 and building on the success of its inaugural season – when 3,000 young people were engaged through the program – SailGP Inspire will focus on providing experiential opportunities and new career pathways to the next generation. Not only will the program be gender equal, but will aim to expand racial and socioeconomic diversity in the sport through three pillars: Learning, Careers and Racing.
Powered by the belief that sailing can be a force for good and following SailGP’s recently announced purpose-led Race for the Future agenda, SailGP Inspire will serve a leading role in promoting diversity in the sport of sailing and in building a sustainable sport, targeting 10,000 young people by 2025.
Starting with the season opener in Bermuda in two months’ time, every SailGP event in Season 2 will include a program in partnership with World Sailing, National Sailing Federations, and local community clubs and programs.
In coordination with each host venue and SailGP Inspire partners RS Sailing, WASZP, Rooster, MarkSetBot, World Sailing Trust, ePropulsion and Doyle Sails, impactful programs will be created within the local communities around SailGP event weeks.
SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts said: “We recognise the unique position we are in to be able to use our platform to champion diversity and inclusivity and help drive meaningful change in our sport. Through Inspire, we want to break boundaries and ensure the amazing opportunities we have in our sport are able to be enjoyed by a broader range of people.”
Bermuda Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess
For the Season 2 opener in Bermuda on April 24-25, SailGP Inspire will partner with Endeavour – a Bermuda-registered charity and nonprofit. Endeavour engages diverse youth from across Bermuda in hands-on learning and career development opportunities that inspire experiential learning, foster career exploration, and sustain the future generation of sailors and maritime professionals.
With the support of Official Host Partner Bermuda Tourism Authority, Title Partner Hamilton Princess and Event Partners West End Development Corporation (WEDCO), insurance firm BF&M, global reinsurer RenaissanceRe and leading independent offshore bank and trust company Butterfield Group, SailGP will work with Endeavour to deliver its three program pillars on-island.
Inspire Learning will engage Bermuda’s youth, including those who participate in Endeavour’s programs, with a series of sustainable STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning activities designed around three of the key elements: wind, sun and water. Students will learn how SailGP is Powered by Nature™ and, following the learning activities, will get to witness science in practice and how SailGP is showcasing the transition to clean energy with an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the SailGP Technical Area.
Through Inspire Careers, Bermudian youth – including those who have completed the Endeavour Maritime Career Springboard Program in partnership with the Bermuda College Professional and Career Education (PACE) Division – will have an opportunity to gain hands-on, practical work experience and shadow a diverse range of roles available within the marine industry. Bermudian youths will gain experience and knowledge of key positions in SailGP, such as on-water operations, boatbuilding, rigging, photography and videography.
Finally, Inspire Racing will target young sailors on the island and connect them with the sport’s pinnacle league, allowing them to experience high-performance, foiling sail racing.
Through the SailGP’s partnership with foiling-dinghy manufacturer WASZP, there will be an incredible opportunity for 16 local youth sailors – gender-balanced with a focus on racial diversity – to showcase their sailing talents and foiling abilities during the SailGP event weekend. Applications are open until March 26 for sailors in Bermuda under the age of 21. Further details can be found at SailGP.com/InspireRacing, alongside Inspire Racing applications for the other SailGP events.
For the first time, SailGP Inspire will also offer two community outreach days on April 11 and 18. This will provide young Bermudians who have come through Endeavour the opportunity to try hydrofoiling for the very first time and experience what the world-class athletes go through on the supercharged F50s. Two wildcard nominations will be given to the most promising young sailors at the outreach day to join the Inspire Racing program.
Throughout the Bermuda Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess, there will also be joint fundraising efforts by SailGP Inspire and Endeavour to help raise vital funds to provide further opportunities for young Bermudians in the future and leave a lasting legacy on the island.
Jennifer Pitcher, Endeavour’s community engagement, development and partnerships manager, said: “We are thrilled to partner with SailGP to bring greater awareness to the meaningful work Endeavour is accomplishing in our community with experiential learning through sailing, while increasing access to exciting opportunities that benefit Bermuda’s youth for years to come.
“We commend SailGP for their extraordinary efforts working to close the opportunity gap and make sailing more inclusive for all. We are grateful to Endeavour’s valued donors and supporters who make our programs possible including lead founding partner, Orbis Investments. It is through this generosity and support that Bermuda’s youth have transformative experiences through Endeavour’s programs that provide new perspectives, enhanced skills and confidence along with memories to last a lifetime.”