Yachting Association (RYA) and Panerai are delighted to announce that the
winner of the Panerai Challenger Trophy is 11-year-old Bradley Pedrick, who
sails at Polkerris Beach in Cornwall.
Challenger Trophy was created by Italian luxury watchmaker Panerai together
with the RYA’s OnBoard programme and is designed to
promote the power of sailing in positively impacting young people’s lives. The
initiative funds grants to young individuals that have overcome physical,
economic or social challenges to achieve significant milestones in their
sailing or windsurfing.
Brad started sailing at Polkerris
Beach, the training centre that nominated him for the award, just a year ago
with his school, and has thrown himself into the sport, despite having a lot to
contend with. As a three-year-old, he had his leg amputated below the knee due
to a rare condition; at just seven, he had to have kidney surgery and then,
shortly afterwards, he suffered serious burns in an accident. In addition, he
has undergone revision surgeries on his leg, which will continue until he is
fully grown. He has nevertheless learned not just to sail, but to put on a
wetsuit over his prosthetic leg, carry his own kit down the beach and work
with, and help, others.
“When I first got in the water and
started sailing I was really scared and a bit nervous but I’m now really happy
when out on the water and it helps me take my mind off everything.” said
“I really look forward to helping
less confident people and help them love sailing too. I love sailing so much
that I now want to be a Paralympic sailor.”
Upon accepting the trophy, Bradley
very graciously led a round of applause and congratulated the other finalists
adding: “I did not expect to get into the top four, I really did not expect it
at all. I’m so happy for all the finalists. Well done to everyone for always
trying and doing your best in sailing.”
According to Brad’s mum, Cheryl,
sailing has given him focus, and much more: “He’s the kind of boy who wants to
be active all the time and he has lots of energy. He just gets on with it –
he’s amazing how he adapts to things and has a positive attitude to everything.
It’s given him a huge focus and it’s helped him to be calm and focused in
school too, knowing that he has sailing to look forward to.”
received a grant of £5,000 to continue his development in sailing. Polkerris
Beach will also receive a grant of up to £10,000 to purchase new equipment that
further supports junior sailors or windsurfers.
Winning the grant will mean a huge
amount to Brad. It will enable him buy a wetsuit and boots appropriate for his
prosthetic leg, and to have one-to-one sailing sessions, which combined with
his regular attendance at his sailing club, will help him to build on his
passion for sailing and develop his talent.
Bradley also received the
impressive Challenger Trophy, designed by leading contemporary designer Simon
Hasan. Inspired by the craft of classic boat building and Panerai’s classic
yacht “Eilean”, built in the famous Scottish boatyard Fife in 1936. Given his
innovative use of materials, embracing both ancient craft and industrial
processes, he was a natural fit to the task.
runners-up - who will also receive £2,500 each along with £5,000 for their
clubs - of the Panerai Challenger Trophy were:
Hutchison, Crawley Mariners Yacht Club,
Felbridge, West Sussex
Matthew Gilbert, Somerset Youth and Community
· James Catterall, Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club
Watch a video of
the presentation at https://youtu.be/fZTJYJ4gmDs
Jean-Marc Pontroué, CEO of Panerai, who has overseen the
launch of these projects, commented: “Sailing can unite communities across the
world, and we are delighted to partner with the RYA to support young talent for
a second year running. Panerai continues its quest to strengthen the links with
the sea and community initiatives to nurture this journey into the future.”
RYA Chief Executive, Sarah Treseder
said: “Each story speaks of perseverance and hardship, but also of hope and
happiness. It was extremely challenging to select the finalist and we hope
Bradley’s truly inspiring story will help inspire more young people to harness
the positive benefits that watersports can bring to a young person’s life. We
thank Panerai for making this possible.”
Sarah added: “Created together with
the RYA’s OnBoard programme, this joint initiative with Panerai, is designed to
promote the many positive benefits which getting out onto the water can bring
to young people’s lives. We are thrilled that this year, we have once again
heard from so many inspiring youngsters and their stories of overcoming
adversity, plus the positive benefits which this has brought to themselves,
their families and their sailing communities.”
3-year initiative, Panerai has committed to making a total investment of
£120,000 to demonstrate the sport’s accessibility and to inspire the next
generation of sailors.
The brand, known for its
relationship to watersports, has recently unveiled their sponsorship of
America’s Cup Challenger, Luna Rossa.
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.
Since 2005, OnBoard has introduced
more than 900,000 children to sailing and
windsurfing in the UK, converting some 70,000 of them into regular
For more information about how to
get involved in sailing visit www.rya.org.uk/go/onboard.