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Jersey Clipper Bursary goes to Dengate

Sailing | Published:

THIRTEEN-year-old Laser dinghy sailor Will Dengate, who hopes one day to represent Great Britain in the European and World Championships, has been awarded the 14th annual Jersey Clipper Bursary, worth £1,000.

Will Dengate (13) has been awarded the Jersey Clipper Bursary for 2020

The 2020 award, made in association with the Jersey branch of Swiss bank UBS, will help to fund the Victoria College student’s off-Island training costs as he aims to reach the highest levels of his chosen sport.

In addition, Jersey Clipper Bursary trustees have presented a runner-up award of £500 to university student Lizzie Ellison to help her gain one of sailing’s highest qualifications.

Dengate, who recently moved to the Olympic class Laser 4.7, following spells in hobie cats and optimists, said: ‘I couldn’t quite believe it when I had the email. My grandma was the first person I told, because she bought me my laser, and she was very pleased about it, she couldn’t believe it either. I didn’t tell anyone apart from my dad that I’d applied for it.

‘Being able to sail in Jersey, it’s a great environment but when you want to get training for a higher standard you can’t do it on-Island. And when you go away you’ve got to pay for flights and the courses too, which are expensive, so I’m going to spend the money, after lockdown, on hopefully getting to a higher level.’

Discussing his sailing dreams, including potential Island Games appearances and selection for Great Britain junior squads, Dengate said: ‘I would love to get into the Island Games as soon as possible ... all of these things I would love to do but you never know if you’re going to be good enough. I hope I will be – that’s my end goal, but we’ll see.

‘I’m just grateful to have got the bursary, it’s a fantastic opportunity.’

Ellison, currently studying for a PhD in oceanography at Imperial College London, was a keen dinghy sailor at St Catherine’s Sailing Club for many years and is now working towards the Royal Yachting Association’s Yachtmaster qualification, which involves 40 hours of theory as well as practical training cruises and a final exam.

She said: ‘It is a significant financial undertaking and as a student I am hugely grateful for this award which will help with the fees of both the theory and practical courses, run in conjunction with Imperial College University Yacht Club.’

The annual Jersey Clipper Bursary, a legacy from the Island’s three campaigns in the Clipper Round-the-World Race, was established in 2007 through the generosity of UBS, Dandara and Les Pas Holdings.

Jason Fox

By Jason Fox
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