The curtain may have come down on a truly incredible 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda but the legacy created by the competition is set to resonate around the host nation for many years to come.
A major contributing factor in that is the America’s Cup Endeavour Program, an ambitious youth sailing and educational program, dedicated to inspiring everybody who engages with the initiative and to leaving a sporting legacy in Bermuda that has a strong, positive impact on the community.
As part of the America’s Cup Endeavour Program, nearly 1,600 young people from all backgrounds have learned about sailing fundamentals, points of sail, wind power and weather patterns, discovering how to rig and de-rig Optimists, O’Pen BICs, Hobie Waves and RS Fevas, as well as enjoying an interactive Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math curriculum, called STEAM through Sailing.
In addition, a further 2000 students enjoyed the interactive learning of the America's Cup Endeavour Education Station, presented by Orbis within the America’s Cup Village, while a further 4,500 students were engaged through community outreach events.
Watched on by the thousands of fans inside the America’s Cup Village, the graduates of the program, were also handed the opportunity to showcase their skills in numerous events throughout the 35th America’s Cup on the Great Sound, allowing them to sail on the same waters as their America’s Cup heroes.
“The America’s Cup Endeavour Program has truly been a game changer in Bermuda and has piloted a path that the sailing world has never seen before,” said Tom Herbert-Evans, Community Sailing Manager of the America’s Cup Endeavour Program, who headed up the dedicated team of sailing instructors who helped roll out the Program.
“The secret has been bringing the hands on learning with a lot of fun back into the classroom! Since the inception of the program, as well as creating a positive impact in the community, we are also seeing children becoming avid sailors, inspired by the America's Cup.
“We also saw several of the graduates from the America’s Cup Endeavour Program sail during the America’s Cup. One of the teams won their division during the exhibition race which was a remarkable achievement considering they didn’t even know how to sail 12 months ago.
“If there is one thing that has come from this America’s Cup it will have been creating a pathway to sailing without any barriers to access that has enabled thousands of students to sail.”
In addition Russell Coutts, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority, reflected on the invaluable work of the Program he was instrumental in implementing along with the support of partners; Orbis, PwC, Butterfield Bank, Appleby, Belco, BF&M, Hamilton Insurance Group, Hamilton Princess and Beach Club, XL Catlin, AES, Blokart, Hobie, North Sails, O’Pen BIC, RS Sailing and Dynamic Dollies.
“On a personal level, I want to highlight what has been and will be achieved by the America’s Cup Endeavour Program, and I hope this initiative continues into the 36th America’s Cup and beyond,” said the five-times winner of the America’s Cup
“We have given thousands of children the chance to try sailing for the first time, we have embedded sailing as a platform into the school curriculum in Bermuda, to teach children a range of STEAM subjects, and we have given hundreds of young people the chance to compete in their own regattas on the same water used for the America’s Cup.
“That is an incredible legacy and one that can be replicated around the world. Sailing is a force for good and I believe the America’s Cup Endeavour Program harnesses the power of sailing in a hugely valuable initiative. Who knows, perhaps the next Peter Burling has already started their journey in sailing through the program. Time will tell!”
Learn more about the America's Cup Endeavour Program here.