After 30 years at the Youth Worlds, British coach Jim Saltonstall is honoured by sailing's greats
Jim Saltonstall was honoured at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship after 30 years, during which he has coached some of the greatest names in the sport.
There have been many legendary sailing names to emerge from the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship; names who have gone on to win Olympic gold medals, lift the America’s Cup and triumph in the Volvo Ocean Race. Few of them have passed under the radar of British coach Jim Saltonstall, who during 30 years at the championship has made an immeasurable contribution to the youth sailing, first of all in Great Britain and latterly on a worldwide scale. On the occasion of his 30th and final ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, Jim Saltonstall was honoured for his incredible achievements at the event.
A message sent from Great Britain’s Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie, an ISAF Youth World Champion during Jim’s time as GBR coach, read: “I just want to say a huge thank you from me and my generation of sailors like Iain Percy and Nick Rogers. Jim you were the guy that got us into international sailing, you got us on the road. Thank you for all your efforts with British sailing and with the international youth here at events like this. You have spent years passing on your knowledge which has made such a huge difference to so many people. Not bad for a Queen’s peasant!”
Jim Saltonstall attended his first ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship at Quiberon, France in 1977 as RYA Senior Racing Coach. He continued in that role for 23 years, developing a formidable GBR youth team which won ten individual titles, the best-nation trophy in both 1995 and 1996 and went on to form the nucleus of the British sailing team which topped the medal table at both the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games. His achievements in Great Britain were recognized in the 1997 New Year’s Honour list when he was awarded an MBE for Services to Yachting and to Young People.
“If I had my life to live again I’d have done exactly the same again,” Jim said. “It’s been a fantastic experience for me and at the end of this week it’s going to be pretty sad really, an end of an era.”