It’s been an exhilarating three months at the Athena Foiling Pathway, a new programme for female and youth athletes led by double Olympic Gold Medalist Hannah Mills (OBE), which aims to fast-track development in professional sailing and level the playing field in high-performance foiling, and we’re thrilled to share our journey with you. Our commitment to nurturing young sailing talents has yielded remarkable results. Here’s a recap of our recent developments in the world of foiling WASZP dinghy sailing.

U18 Pilot Week

Taster Session: Expanding Horizons

In August, we kicked off with an exciting U18 pilot week, offering two days of taster sessions and three days of intensive skills development training for young sailors. We couldn’t have asked for better conditions – abundant sunshine and favorable winds prevailed throughout the taster sessions. It was the ideal setting for newcomers and those eager to dive into the world of foiling WASZP dinghy sailing.

During the taster sessions, we introduced a mix of the 6.9 rig and the new WASZP X rig, specially designed for junior sailors to experience the thrill of foiling. The feedback was incredibly positive, and three exceptional young sailors from the taster sessions were extended invitations to participate in the skills development sessions later in the week.

“The feeling of flying above the surface and accelerating to speeds I never thought possible is incredible”

Helena Mills Bowers

Skills Development: Meeting Challenges Head-On

The skills development sessions presented more challenging conditions, with substantial winds on the second day. Despite the demanding weather, our young sailors embraced the opportunity to enhance their skills and experience the exhilaration of foiling. The program covered various aspects, from boat handling to tactical manoeuvres, providing invaluable experiences that would shape their foiling WASZP dinghy sailing journeys.

October Half Term:

Due to the tremendous success of the U18 pilot week, we hosted another round of sessions during the October half term. Again, two days of taster sessions, allowing even more young talents to explore the world of foiling WASZP dinghy sailing were followed by three days of skills development, where participants, some of which had attended the taster sessions in August, continued to refine their skills and experience the incredible sensation of foiling. The inclusion of participants who had sailed a WASZP for the first time not 3 months before demonstrating the success already being achieved by the programme.

U25 Team: Shaping Future Stars

Our U25 program has also been making significant strides. The first members of our U25 team have  been invited to participate in six weekends of intensive training over the next six months. In early October, we conducted our inaugural camp, which focused on boat setup and boat speed in the context of foiling WASZP dinghies. The progress made during this camp is just the beginning, and we’re excited about the potential yet to be unlocked.

Our Achievement So Far

In just three months, the Performance Academy has achieved remarkable milestones. We’ve conducted WASZP X taster sessions for 31 young sailors, provided six days of skills development training for active U18 WASZP sailors, and initiated the first camp for our U25 team. This translates to over 72 hours of dedicated WASZP coaching, benefiting more than 50 young sailors.

Our commitment to nurturing young foiling WASZP dinghy sailing talent remains unwavering, and the future holds even more promise. We’re dedicated to developing the next generation of sailing champions, with a focus on the thrilling world of foiling WASZP dinghies and fostering a love for the sport that will last a lifetime.

 “Partnering with the Athena Pathway to deliver this programme is proving hugely successful and I am excited to continue working with these talented young sailors, developing and honing their skills in the WASZP”

James Parker-Mowbray, Manager, AS Performance Academy.

We would also like to thank the WASZP class association and SailingFast, without their support, this programme would not have been possible.

Stay tuned for more updates, exciting events, and opportunities to be a part of our thriving community. Follow us on social media and reach out through email for the latest news and upcoming activities.

Instagram: @asperformanceacademy

Facebook: AS Performance Academy

Email: enquiries@ascperformanceacademy.org

Join us as we set sail into a bright and promising future of young talent and the incredible world of foiling WASZP dinghy sailing.

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