The British Keelboat Academy (BKA) is designed to support young people aged between 18 and 24 in developing the skills needed to take their keelboat yacht racing to the next level, whether that is as a professional or an amateur.
The British Keelboat Academy will offer in the region of 60 individuals a one to two year programme covering all aspects of racing, training, boat maintenance and personal preparation.
As a part of the BKA, sailors get access to Crewsearch, a group with unlimited opportunities to join top UK boats. They also receive BKA uniform with discounted waterproofs and technical clothing, discounted professional RYA courses and get taught by some of the top UK coaches.
Competing in a range of events during the season, the Academy sailors will receive top class coaching on board from a variety of professional sailors. In addition to this, sailors will receive training ashore spanning subjects including winching, meteorology, navigation, racing rules, rig tuning and sail trim, with input from marine leaders and industry professionals.
As well as the technical skills, competing onboard a top level racing yacht requires teamwork, leadership skills, project management, physical fitness and the ability to communicate clearly under pressure. The British Keelboat Academy programme seeks to develop these areas equipping trainees with the essential skills that will benefit them both in their future sailing careers and in the wider world.
Sailors from the previous RYA and UKSA schemes, have gone on to compete at the top level of the sport with over 40 currently working in the yacht racing industry including five sailing team members in the 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race, three America’s Cup or World Match Racing Tour participants and a number of former squad members now part of the Artemis Offshore Academy. However more important than this success the programmes have changed the lives of young people involved and given them the life skills and confidence to go on to be successful in whichever area they choose to work.
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