Harry Houlding - Young and Talented Cornwall
7 July 2014
Harry is a sailor who graduated from dingy sailing to keel boat racing, and was selected for the British Keelboat Academy (Yacht Racing Squad), organised by the RYA and the UK Sailing Association to develop GB sailors. His short term goal was to be part of the squad to represent GB in keel boat racing (which is becoming recognised as an Olympic sport), his long-term goal the Americas Cup, and possibly to become a professional, including teaching.
Harry received assistance from The Lord Lieutenant’s Fund for Youth towards professional coaching, competition travel and accommodation. A grant of £500 supported him throughout the 2012/2013 sailing season. He competed in the student Yachting nationals for Portsmouth University managing to achieve 3rd place out of 24 universities. Harry also received training on the Sun Sail Yacht. He was also part of the Team Racing set up at the university which also qualified for the finals and managed to achieve 7th place overall out of the 28 teams who made it through to the finals.
Outside of the University sailing, he was also part of the British Keelboat Academy, which included being a part of two rigorous campaigns in two different types of boats. One being the J70, a new design of sport boat in which they came 4th at the National Championships in June, with all four of then under the age of 20! Next year they are aiming to compete at the highest level in the World and go to the World Championships in the States (New York).
Harry was also involved in the J109 class, when a group of them from the academy sailed Alaister Speare Cole’s racing yacht ‘Alice’ in which they competed in a number of events in the Solent and the National Championships held in Plymouth.
At the end of the season Harry was asked to compete for the British Sailing Team competing in the Under 23 European Match Racing Finals held at Lake Constanz in Germany which was a great experience for him and felt honoured to be asked. A team of four travelled out and spent a week racing against the best match racers in Europe which was a great way to round of the years racing before he completed his final year of study at Portsmouth University.
Alongside the racing, being in the British Keelboat Academy involved him attending a number of training days in Cowes. These training days included fitness and a number of knowledgeable theory sessions based on a number of important areas in sailing and campaign planning, one being sea survival as an example.
Ahead of 2014 they have formed a team of four youth sailors, ready to race the new J70 sport boat. Training will take place on a number of weekends throughout the cold months of November and December in preparation for the new racing season ahead.