Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's Clipper Race has launched funded sailing programmes for young people affected by the COVID-19 lockdown

Young people who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns are being offered funded sailing programmes to help them develop self-confidence and self-esteem.

The Clipper Race has partnered with Our Isles and Oceans campaign on the project.

It is open to those aged between 18-35 from across the UK.

Up to 50 successful candidates will take part in a funded sailing course along the west coast of Scotland this summer, on board an Our Isles and Oceans branded 68ft Clipper Race training yacht.

10 of the new recruits will be given the chance to be allocated a funded place for a leg of the 2023-24 Clipper Race

10 of the new recruits will be given the chance to be allocated a funded place for a leg of the 2023-24 Clipper Race. Credit: imagecomms

Under the guidance of a Clipper Race training skipper, each group of young people will be challenged to learn new practical skills, develop their self belief and work as a team.

In addition, 10 of these recruits will then be offered the opportunity to apply for an additional four weeks of intensive ocean racing training to be held at the Clipper Race Training HQ in Gosport, Hampshire.

If successful, they would receive a funded place on board the 70ft Our Isles and Oceans team entry, which will be competing in the 2023-24 Clipper Race.

Each recruit would complete one leg of the Clipper Race circumnavigation

The co-founder of the Clipper Race, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said he hoped the programme would make a positive change in the successful candidates’ lives.

‘Sailing is so much more than just a sport or pastime as it gives you experience that is as useful in the workplace as it is on board a yacht. The sport develops self-confidence and self-esteem which is so important to restore following the pandemic,’ he said.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is a co-founder of the Clipper Race

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is a co-founder of the Clipper Race. Credit: Clipper Race

‘Everything you do on board a sailing boat is practical and I feel practical skills have somewhat been lost over the years. Knot tying is one of the obvious skills that will be learnt but the crew will also start to understand the weather, the enormity of the sea and how to cope with them both.

‘Problem solving is key to sail training, as is leadership and teamwork. You’ll often find young people are judged too early. Putting them on a yacht, with a team, is a great equaliser. You’ll see things are picked up quickly and as each challenge is overcome, confidence grows, with a new belief in themselves that they can achieve anything,’ added Sir Robin.

Continues below…

Applications are now being accepted via  and will be open from 11 June to the 19 July.

Our Isles and Oceans may shorten or lengthen the application period depending on volume of applications or external circumstances. If this is the case all updates will be shared across the Our Isles and Oceans social media channels and website.

The focus of recruitment will not be based on past job or work experience but will instead be based on an applicant’s ambition to take part in this special programme.

The campaign is looking to assist people who may think opportunities such as these are out of their reach.

The Our Isles and Oceans campaign begins with the first series of sailing programmes in July 2021.