The Swallow class association has sponsored a bursary to encourage entries to this year's Cowes Week

As a way of encouraging the Swallow sailors of the future to taste the excitement of campaigning a Swallow at Cowes, the National Class Association has sponsored a bursary. The bursary covers the cost of entry fees and moorings during Skandia Cowes Week for a boat helmed by a member of one of the Itchenor dinghy classes.

The successful applicant, Ned Brockway, is aged 25 and has sailed RS200s and 49ers. He has sailed with GBR helmsman (and Swallow sailor) Andy Green and captained Southampton University’s winning BUSA team in 1999. He also has experience of big boats, having crewed on a Maxi Whitbread round the world for nine months.

Ned will borrow S80 Blue Tit, owned by Andrew Dunlop and his syndicate. Andrew and his co-owners are unable to make it to Skandia Cowes Week and they are all delighted that the boat will be sailed by such a competent young team. Dunlop explains: “This is a great method of encouraging new sailors into the class and we wish Ned all the best in our boat.”

The Swallow Class has responded well to the Chairman’s campaign to raise numbers at Cowes. Following a low of just eight boats last year, 17 have entered this year. They include many of the class’s top performers, including several past winners of the Week. Anthony Lunch sees a vintage week ahead; “It is impossible to forecast who might win. It could be any one of half a dozen boats. This is always needle racing and, as anyone who sails at Cowes knows, the results are often decided on the final leg to the finish.”