Alex Harrison is a 16-year-old Victoria College student who has a passion for any sport or activity that involves the sea. He has spent the past two summers helping as an assistant at St Catherine’s Sailing Club.
With the £600 award he will now be able to take the Royal Yachting Association qualifications, which will enable him to pass his skills and enthusiasm on to other young Island sailors. ‘I believe a key part of sailing is giving back what you have gained,’ said Alex. ‘It has been really fulfilling, particularly when you see one or two juniors you have helped discover the same zest for racing that you have.’
Alex, who has just taken his GCSEs, started dinghy sailing at the age of eight and by the time he was 11 he had started racing Optimists. At 12 he advanced to the much faster Lasers and has since competed in many UK Laser events, including a national championship.
‘Over the years I have completed the RYA Powerboat 2 and VHF courses and am currently undertaking my first aid course,’ he said. ‘I want to continue advancing my RYA qualifications, especially the dinghy instructor, safety boat and day skipper courses.
‘Unfortunately, these can be very expensive, especially for a teenager, and the Jersey Clipper Bursary will be of great help. I hope that one day someone that I have taught will continue this trend of introducing others to this fantastic sport.’
The annual Clipper bursary is a legacy from the three Jersey campaigns in the Clipper round-the-world race and is designed to assist an Islander to achieve a nautical ambition.