A young Carrick sailor has been awarded exclusive use of his own boat courtesy of the Royal Yachting Association and a sailing charity.
Eleven-year-old Tyler Playfair, a member of Carrickfergus Sailing Club, was one of 12 promising sailors and surfboarders to have been awarded use of a topper for two years by the association and John Merricks Sailing Trust.
The vessel will then be provided to Carrickfergus Sailing Club for other junior sailors and windsurfers to continue to benefit from in the future.
Tyler’s mum Rachelle said: “He has always loved the water. He started kayaking when he was six-years old with his dad.
“One day, he saw Topper sailboats out on the water and asked could he do that. We enquired with the sailing club and signed him up for level one.
“He passed his level one and joined their Friday night sailing group. Doing this gave him a lot of confidence.
“The following summer he did his levels two, three and four sailing at every opportunity. Last summer, he did his Start Racing level and went to his first regatta held at Carrickfergus Sailing Club. He came first in the Junior Race.
“His instructor told us that he would need his own boat in order for him to progress further in sailing. The club told us about the John Merricks Sailing Trust.
“He now has sole use of the boat for the next two years and hopes to compete in as many events possible.”
RYA OnBoard operations officer, Hannah Cockle, commented: “It is such a thrill telling the sailors and their families that their applications have been successful, because we know what a difference getting a boat or board will make to their lives. For many it will be the difference between continuing in the sport and not, so we cannot thank JMST enough for continuing to support this programme.”