Teen sailors selected for BLAKE environmental programme
Media Release
July 7, 2019

Thirty young sailors (Y11-13) from sailing clubs all over New Zealand have been selected to represent their clubs at BLAKE Inspire for Sailors, a six-day environmental leadership development adventure developed by BLAKE (formerly the Sir Peter Blake Trust) and Yachting New Zealand.

The programme will run from 7 to 12 July in Auckland where the teenaged sailors will gather together to learn about environmental issues facing New Zealand and the impacts they have on our marine and coastal environments.

BLAKE Inspire for Sailors enables delegates to come away with enhanced leadership capabilities and strategies to start driving positive change and action within their sailing clubs and communities.

Sir Peter Blake Trust (BLAKE) CEO, James Gibson, says the programme combines Sir Peter Blake’s passions of sailing and environmental awareness and protection.

“Like Sir Peter Blake, these students have a deep connection with the ocean through sailing and are passionate about protecting the marine environment for future generations. Together with Yachting New Zealand, we’ve developed a fantastic hands-on learning programme that combines adventure and education, with the aim of inspiring these young people to lead a sustainable future.

“Delegates will spend the week developing their skills with some of New Zealand’s environmental leaders and experts, as well as learning about Sir Peter’s legacy and spending time with some of New Zealand’s sailing legends,” says Gibson.

Chief Executive of Yachting New Zealand, David Abercrombie says they are thrilled to be offering this exciting opportunity to members of yacht clubs.

“Sir Peter Blake had a huge impact on the sport of sailing and it’s great to see his legacy live on, especially in programmes like BLAKE Inspire. Yachting New Zealand have a long-term vision to help develop more young leaders and this opportunity to partner with BLAKE is going to help create outstanding young people.

“We want these students to go on to play an active role in their clubs and communities and foster the type of environment that grows the sport and the people around them.” says Abercrombie.

Over the week the students will be involved in range of activities. This includes:

  • Developing leadership skills through a range of field trips, workshops and exercises and learning about topical environmental issues from inspiring science experts.
  • Sailing with the New Zealand Sailing Trust on board legendary race yacht Lion New Zealand in Auckland’s iconic Hauraki Gulf.
  • Visiting Tiritiri Matangi Island to learn about biodiversity, conservation and predator control.
  • Taking part in a coastal marine field trip at Tāhuna Tōrea Reserve and analysing plankton and sediment samples.
  • A beach clean-up at Okahu Bay with Sea Cleaners.
  • Learning about climate change, and how future impacts of climate change may affect the marine environment. They will also take part in a climate change workshop and debate facilitated by the Ministry for the Environment.
  • Touring the Emirates Team New Zealand base.
  • Touring the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron to learn the history of the America’s Cup.
  • Taking a behind-the-scenes tour of Kelly Tarlton’s to learn about the purpose of aquariums and their conservation programmes.
  • Learning about the legacy of Sir Peter Blake with a tour of the Maritime Museum and hearing from New Zealand yachting legends.
  • Taking part in a sustainability audit of a yacht club with Project Litefoot.



Student images available on request. Photos will be available throughout the week of BLAKE Inspire for Sailors. Contact Lara Harrison 022 079 3554 or email [email protected] 

Student sailor delegates:


  • Alexa McKay, Year 11, Wanaka Yacht Club
  • Wilbur Stanley, Year 11, Worser Bay Boating Club
  • Alexandra Thom, Year 13, Queen Charlotte Yacht Club
  • Angus Wright, Year 12, Torbay Sailing Club
  • Ben Bowie, Year 11, Royal Newzealand Yatch Club
  • Ben Mangin, Year 12, Nelson Yacht Club
  • Cameron Evans, Year 11, Howick Sailing Club
  • Charlotte Gray, Year 11, Manly Sailing Club
  • Chester Duffett, Year 13, Milford Cruising Club
  • Chris Geerkens, Year 13, Kerikeri Cruising Club
  • Ella Waterreuss, Year 13, Tauranga Yachting and Power Boat Club
  • Emilia Haszard, Year 13, Anderson’s Bay Sea Scouts
  • Emma Benson, Year 13, Pt Chev Sailing Club
  • Emma Charles, Year 13, Nelson Yacht Club
  • Georgina Lowrey, Year 12, Waimakariri Sailing Club
  • Helena Palmer, Year 12, Ponsonby Cruising Club
  • Jack Towers, Year 12, Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club
  • James Bitchener, Year 13, Plimmerton Boating Club and Worser Bay Boat Club
  • Joseph Hendry, Year 11, Worser Bay Boating Club
  • Kahurangi Nepia, Year 11, Wanaka Yacht Club
  • Luke Townend, Year 11, Bucklands Beach Yacht Club
  • Meg Catley, Year 11, French Bay Yacht Club
  • Nathaniel Short, Year 12, Ngaroto Sailing Club
  • Rebecca Lee, Year 13, Naval Point Club Lyttelton
  • Rivers Loveridge, Year 11, Opua Cruising Club
  • Sasha Barrett-Garnier, Year 12, Kohimarama Yacht Club
  • Sean Hancock, Year 11, Bucklands Beach Yacht Club
  • Serena Woodall, Year 13, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
  • Sophia Hornell, Year 13, Opua Cruising Club
  • Thomas Crook, Year 13, Wakatere