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Tottenham teenager wins young sailor of the year

A 17-year old from Tottenham is making a splash in the yachting world after being named Young Sailor of the Year, following in the footsteps of four-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie.

Montel Fagan-Jordan, who is preparing for his A-levels at Greig City Academy in Haringey, was recognised for his leading contribution in the school’s sailing initiative, Project Scaramouche.

Pupils gave talks and fundraising pitches around the country to raise to restore the school’s 1980s-era yacht, Scaramouche.

He was nominated by Greig City Academy teacher, Jon Holt, for the Yachting Journalists’ Association award for the leading role in fundraising and racing.

Montel went on to captain a crew of fellow students who entered the yacht in the 605-mile Fastnet Race, steering and navigating for a four hour stretch in the dark.

The North London school, where more than 50 languages are spoken and 70 per cent of pupils are eligible for free school meals, gives every student a chance to work towards qualifications in dinghy sailing before graduating to Scaramouche.

The school believe they’re the first team from a state comprehensive to compete in the Fastnet, and were the only school competing in 2017 when they finished 142 out of 368 competitors.

He was shortlisted against young champion sailors from the yachting world, but announcing his win, the Yachting Journalist’s Association said the award was in recognition of leadership throughout the multi-year restoration and racing project.

A post on the Project Scaramouche Facebook page ahead of the awards said: ”Everyone nominated tomorrow deserves it, but for a lad who has, at 17, charmed sponsors, pitched to big sailing companies, sailed over 3,000 miles and done masses behind the scenes at school for Project Scaramouche I think if it goes his way, it will reflect his commitment and effort!”

During the award ceremony, Montel said: “Thank you to everyone who has made this possible. Five years ago, I didn’t really know what sailing was, so you can imagine it is rather overwhelming to be stood here next to some of sailing’s greats,” according to All at Sea magazine.

Mr Holt said: “This was unique yachting project in which a multi-cultural crew spent three years undertaking more than 50 fund-raising talks to buy and restore the famous Gérman Frers designed yacht.

“Montel and the whole crew really pulled together and are already helping us with the future of Greig City Academy Sailing. We want to be the school that does the Fastnet Race, they are the ones making this happen.”

“Given that Scarmaouche is an old yacht, which rolls madly, his ability to hold a course for four hours in the dark, surfing downwind without broaching was amazing.” he added, of Montel’s captaincy during the race.

Previous winners of this award include Sir Ben Ainslie the most decorated Olympic Sailor in history and Hannah Mills MBE silver medallist in the 470 at London 2012, taking gold in the same class at Rio 2016. 

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