Youth 2 Keel Boat (Y2K)

About the Programme

The Youth to Keelboat (Y2K) was launched by the Antigua and Barbuda Sailing Association (ABSA) in conjunction with Antigua Sailing Week to allow Antiguan youth the opportunity to gain keelboat racing experience during regatta. 2024 will be the fifth year of this important initiative generously sponsored by Axxess Marine.

In more than 50 years of ASW there have always been a small number of Antiguan youths on board; often from seafaring families or raised within yachting communities. Skip forward to 2024 and interest in sailing, not just as a sport or leisure option, but as a career has grown exponentially. The first youth programme was developed by Antigua Yacht Club in the nineties and then latterly, the National Sailing Academy. The Academy has now enabled every secondary school island-wide to offer sailing as part of the national curriculum. Both programmes have produced an increasing number of youths with dinghy sailing experience but for many that is where their sail racing ends. The Youth to Keel Boat Programme (Y2K) seeks to bridge the gap and help them make the leap to gaining keelboat experience.

The original idea for the initiative was borne out of a conversation at a Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) Conference held in Antigua between Tim Cross (World Sailing Regional Development Coordinator) and ex-America’s Cup sailor Peter Holmberg.  Of the programme Tim Cross said, ‘We were debating how to get more youths into sailing across the region and identified that there needs to be tangible reasons for a young person not only to start sailing, but then remain a life long sailor either recreationally or professionally. This concept is fantastic as it provides both inspiration and aspirations for the young people involved.

Who is Eligible

Aged 14-25

Must be a proficient dinghy sailor.

Has to be in a sailing programme either currently or in the past.

Keelboat experience is ideal, but if none, willing to sign up to 1-2-day keelboat programme to take place at the National Sailing Academy in April (Date TBC).

Must submit application by 31 January, 2024.

Must be willing to commit to a minimum of 3 up to 5 days sailing during Antigua Sailing Week which takes place from April 27- May 3, 2024.

Safety – all youths assigned to a boat must sign a waiver in the same way as any other crew member, prior to racing.  If the youth is under 18 years old, then the waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian.

Must live in Antigua.

How to Apply

Please click the link below to open the application form.

Complete your details.

Save the form and either print it off and drop it at the National Sailing Academy watersports center for the attention of  Lorraine Mitchell or email it to

If you need help with the application please seek assistance immediately from your instructor.

Please note there is no fee to take part in the programme.

Deadline is 15th February, 2024.

Next Steps

The applications will be vetted by the Antigua and Barbuda Sailing Association Board Members. Some youths may be invited to an interview. Once all applications have been assessed the committee will prepare a short list of  youths proposed for the programme.

A two day keelboat programme will take place in April (Date TBC) for those without prior experience.

Successful applicants details will be sent to skippers and crews.

Skippers may interview as many youths as they would like to before making their selection.

Disclaimer – It is very important to understand that not all applicants will be selected for the programme and not all those selected will go on to race. All efforts will be made to match sailors with boats, but there are no guarantees.

Boats Wanting Youths on Board

If you are the owner/skipper of a boat who would like to sign up to the programme please log into your entry at, open your entry details, scroll to the bottom of the page and click YES to ‘Would you be happy to take a youth on board?’.

Alternatively you may email .

Once a youth has raced on board whether for a day or all week we request that at the end of the programme a member of the crew fills out a simple assessment form to give feedback to the youth on their performance, attitude and overall impressions made.

Thank you to everyone in advance who wants to get involved in this programme. We see it as a major stepping stone to growing the sport of Sailing not just in Antigua or the Caribbean but throughout the world.