The Wellington Youth Sailing Trust was originally established in 2001 as the Port Nicholson Yachting Trust. Its aim was to provide the opportunity for youth in the greater Wellington community to experience the thrill and excitement of sailing.
The first ongoing programme established was the Port Nicholson Yachting Trust Youth Scheme. The Trust made available to the Wellington youth yachting community a fleet of four Elliot 6 Metre keelboats, a chase boat and funding to run a coaching programme for sailors. The Trust sets the direction for the Scheme and provides governance of its implementation.
During the 2002-3 and 2003-4 seasons more than thirty sailors benefited from a full year programme of match racing coaching. Some sailors from the scheme in these years went on to establish professional sailing careers and are competing in the international sailing circuit. Others have used skills developed whilst on the scheme to improve their own dinghy sailing programmes. Yet others have gone on to careers in the general yachting industry both in New Zealand and overseas.
At the end of the 2003-4 season the trustees took stock of progress that had been made and reviewed the direction in which the scheme had been operating. As a result of the review process it was decided to build on the successes of the early years and begin expanding the scheme to cater for the coaching needs of the wider youth yachting community in the Wellington region. During the seasons from 2004-7 the trust developed and implemented a coaching programme for all youth classes including Ps, Starlings, 420s, Lasers as well as e6 match racing.
During the 2006-7 season the Trust began working with Yachting New Zealand and the New Zealand Academy of Sport to establish a regional talent development programme. During the winter of 2007, a decision was made by the trustees to pass the dinghy sailing talent development programme structure, over to the Wellington dinghy sailing clubs themselves.
The focus for the Trust shifted to expanding the youth keel boat and match racing programmes offered in the Wellington region to include a secondary school’s component, a youth women’s match racing component, an introduction to match racing programme offer to sailors from outside the Wellington region, winter sailing programme and an under 23 match racing squad.