JCG student targets Olympics ‘28

Sailing star Bertille Bacquet is the recipient of this year's Jersey Clipper Bursary and has ambitions for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

CAESAREAN sailor Bertille Bacquet has her eyes fixed on the 2028 Olympic Games, after securing her place on a selective programme which aims to find crews for the elite sporting event in Los Angeles.

The 16-year-old Jersey College for Girls student was named the recipient of this year’s Jersey Clipper Bursary, which awards £1,000 to an individual for a maritime endeavour. She spends her weekends training in the UK and will use the funds for travel costs.

Having only been sailing since 2021, Bacquet has already displayed immense potential after winning in her age-group in the French nationals, and competing for France in a young rowers competition against Great Britain.

Subsequently, the teenager secured a place on Team GB Sailing’s Crew4gold programme which aims to find crews for the women’s two-person 49erFX class in the Olympics.

She said: “To access the Crew4gold programme you have to have evidence of a high level of sporting achievement and a determined mindset.

“The programme began last October and over the winter I have been fully committed to the training weekends.”

The runner-up for this year’s Jersey Clipper Bursary, receiving £500, was 17-year-old Tyler Horton, also from JCG.

Horton will also use her award to assist with costs to travel to the UK as she gains her Level 2 coaching qualification.

Having already coached young sailors during the winter programme at St Catherine’s Sailing Club, she wants to continue contributing to the sport on the island.

Horton said: “[St Catherine’s winter programme] aims to help young sailors develop the necessary skills to race and sail effectively, not only at a club level but also at a regional level.”

This year, she will continue to coach and will also be part of the Jersey team competing in the final of the British Keelboat League, a three-day event at the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hampshire.

The annual Jersey Clipper Bursary was established in 2007 and is a continued legacy from the Jersey’s three campaigns in the Clipper Round-the-World Race, through the generosity of UBS, Dandara and Les Pas Holdings, the primary sponsors of Jersey Clipper.

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