UK sailing clubs are being urged to enter Sunsail's Funding the Future competition, which has been set up to support grassroots sailing

Yachts clubs across the UK are being invited to enter the Funding the Future competition for a chance to win £5,000.

The money can be used to improve the club’s facilities, equipment, and coaching capabilities; increase membership; promote youth and sailability participation; or launch other initiatives to support the club.

The campaign is run by Sunsail.

Two people from a sailing club receive a cheque from Sunsail's Helena Lucas

Solva Sailing Club receives their prize from Helena Lucas

As well as a top prize of £5,000, the winning sailing club will also be treated to a live Q&A with double Olympic medallist and Volvo Ocean Race winner, Ian Walker.

Last year’s winner was the tiny Solva Sailing Club in Pembrokeshire, south west Wales.

The judges, which included Volvo Ocean Race skipper Dee Caffari, and paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas, commented that: “Solva Sailing Club have a track-record of getting young people out on the water and sailing, with racing success as well! Small clubs such as Solva Sailing Club are the life-blood of our sport and their enthusiasm is what will draw more young sailors on to the water to enjoy what we know can be a pastime for life.”

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Solva club members spent their prize money on building new changing facilities  and storage lockers which will help them continue to offer taster sessions for local schoolchildren and to encourage young people to get into sailing.

They also met Caffari, who came to the club for a Q&A session and celebration evening.

For Funding the Future 2017-18, there will be two runners-up prizes of £2,000 in addition to the first prize of £5,000.

Sunsail is also running a separate prize for university sailing clubs where the deserving club will win £1,000 to invest.

Only one entry is allowed per sailing club.

Entries close on Thursday, 30 November 2017, and the winner will be announced at the RYA Dinghy Show on Saturday, 3 March 2018.