Winner of the YJA MS Amlin ‘International Sailor of the Decade’ Award is Jon Holt, founder of the Scaramouche Sailing Trust.
The aim of the YJA MS Amlin ‘International Sailor of the Decade’ is to recognise the achievements of those who have had the greatest positive impact on sailing.
Jon Holt, the Head of Outdoor Education at the Greig City Academy secondary school in Hornsey, London, has broken down barriers, providing opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to sail and race successfully.
He started the sailing programme at Greig City Academy in 2014. When there wasn’t an obvious route into sailing, they bought an old 22ft yacht on eBay which was rotting in a field, spending the summer making it seaworthy and then sailing and racing the yacht.
Then formed the ambition to be the first state school to complete the Rolex Fastnet Race.
The next step towards this goal was the purchase of ‘Scaramouche’, a 45ft Admiral’s Cup yacht built in 1981, which they set to work on, made race-worthy, finishing 14th in class in the 2016 Round the Island Race.
They completed the Fastnet qualification races and then completed the iconic Rolex Fastnet Race itself in 2017, placing 144th out of the 362 starters.
Following this achievement Scaramouche sailor, Montel Fagan-Jordan, won the YJA ‘Young Sailor of the Year’ Award.
The Scaramouche Sailing Trust has since gone from strength to strength, with sailors competing regularly in Etchells, 420s, competing in the Fastnet Race again in 2019, combined with the students refurbishing more yachts and dinghies.
Jon Holt has been the quiet, unassuming driving force behind the Scaramouche Sailing Trust.
He has brought on board partners from within the sailing industry and beyond, giving many young sailors the chance to enjoy sailing and even find careers in the industry. What Jon, the staff and pupils at Greig City Academy and the Scaramouche Sailing Trust have achieved is truly remarkable.
This new Award was presented in a socially distanced surprise event, to Jon Holt by the historian and TV presenter Dan Snow of ‘History Hit’, the massively popular online channel, who is himself a keen sailor.
Paul Knox-Johnston, MS Amlin Boat Insurance Business Development Manager, said:
“Huge and heartfelt congratulations to Jon Holt from all at MS Amlin Boat Insurance on winning this, the inaugural YJA MS Amlin ‘International Sailor of the Decade’ Award.”
“The nominee list was a veritable who’s who of yachting talent and people who have inspired so many to get out on the water.”
“I know that the Scaramouche Sailing Trust is a huge team effort and the work you all do in bringing new people from different backgrounds into our sport is fantastic but, behind every team there is a driving inspiration; it is your dedication and drive which has propelled the Trust to where it stands today.”
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