Performance Bursary for young Chipstead sailor

Performance Bursary for young Chipstead sailor

Aspiring young sailor Mim Asker (14) from Lewisham has received a Performance Bursary from the RYA London and South East Youth Training Fund.


Photo – Mim on the water, credit Jon Bentman

The bursaries provide modest financial support to young sailors to help fulfil their recognised racing or coaching potential. In return, recipients pass on their experience and enthusiasm to help inspire others through their club and regional training events.

Starting and progressing…

Mim learned to sail at Chipstead Sailing Club (CSC) in an Optimist dinghy and has been an active member of the club since her first session on the water.
Over the years she has sailed and raced regularly at CSC, taken part in Kent School Sailing Association (KSSA) events, some regional International Optimist
Class Association events and the RYA Regional Junior Championships.

In 2021 she progressed to sailing a Topper dinghy – initially a 4.2 – which she sailed as part of the Kent team at National School Sailing Association event in Plymouth and received the Endeavour trophy. Mim was selected for the International Topper Class Association 4.2 squad 2021/22, although she missed out on some of the training due to breaking her wrist.

Moving up……

Since summer 2022, Mim has sailed a Topper 5.3 in a range of CSC race series including the Commodore’s Cup in which she came first, the Junior mid-Summer Regatta (1st girl), and the Junior Handicap series 2022 (1st girl).

For the past two seasons she has crewed on one of the Heron dinghies at the club in the Sunday afternoon Heron series. The first time Mim took the helm of the Heron was for the Novice’s Cup event in 2022 which she won. She has been asked by one of the other juniors to sail with him in the Feva Nationals in 2024 and is looking forward to this.


The awards depend on the winner’s commitment to contribute to their club or class association. Mim trained as an Assistant Instructor and coached the beginners on Saturday mornings throughout the 2023 season as well as during the Chipmates summer camp. She intends to continue doing this and is keen to get involved with the development of double-handed sailing within the Juniors Class.

She is a regular volunteer at Wealden Sailability based at Chipstead and Tideway Sailability in Surrey Docks so
development of her skills will also benefit these organisations.

Mim has recently been awarded the Ian Walker trophy at CSC. The trophy was given by twice Olympic silver medallist and Volvo Ocean Race winner Ian Walker, MBE, for a junior sailor who makes a significant contribution to sailing and the club through teaching, coaching and encouraging less able sailors to sail.

What’s next…..

Jenny Johnson, Vice Commodore of KSSA, said in nominating Mim: “She has really developed a love of all aspects of sailing
despite a few challenges this year, and would really benefit from some specific Feva coaching to develop her skills further. She has great enthusiasm for the
sport and very keen to develop her racing ability.”

Mim will use the award to fund some Feva coaching, ideally on tidal water, to develop her skills and to better prepare her to participate in the Feva Nationals 2024

From Mim….

Mim said of receiving her bursary: “It was a lovely surprise to learn I’d been awarded the bursary which I’m planning to use on some double-handed coaching.

“No-one else in my family sails so I didn’t really have any experience of double-handed sailing until I was paired up with Carol, one of the older Heron sailors at Chipstead. I’ve crewed for Carol for the past two seasons and have learned a lot about double-handed sailing from her, and I’m hoping to go to the Feva Nationals with one of the other Juniors in May so the bursary will benefit both of us.”


Photo – Mim receives her award from Rob Brown, Junior Class Captain

From the Youth Training Fund….

Dave Ellis, Chairman of the Youth Training Fund, says: “It’s fantastic for young sailors to be able to experience a range of opportunities, both in the UK and internationally, during their development as they learn so much. But the costs of travel, accommodation, food etc. all quickly mount up and the bursaries provide some assistance to our young sailors as they develop their sailing careers”.

“We have an abundance of talent in the region and we want to give our young sailors, whether destined for ‘podiums’ or as coaches, the best chance to realise their ambitions.”

Might you be eligible for a bursary? Find out more

Ian Walker Trophy nominees 2023

At the end of each season, the Ian Walker Trophy is awarded to a Junior member of Chipstead Sailing Club in recognition of their achievements during the year, and the qualities that make them a role model for the Junior and Youth membership.

This year there are three nominees: Dan, Mim and Toby.

Thank you to the 80+ CSC members who cast their votes. The supporting comments submitted with the votes highlight the contribution these three make to encouraging and inspiring others e.g. Dan is a great role model to other sailors for Chipstead, KSSA and at events around the country… Mim has really got stuck in this year devoting a lot of time to teaching our younger, less confident sailors. It was also great to see Mim out with Wealden Sailability supporting others who are less fortunate to take to the water… Toby is a mature and well-rounded member of the training team and real credit to the club. He has become a confident instructor and a positive role model for young people.

This year’s winning nominee received over two thirds of the votes… Mim! 
Mim with the Ian Walker trophy at prizegiving, January 2024
Mim receiving the Ian Walker trophy at prizegiving, January 2024


Three boys wearing Rooster bobble hats before the start of the Young Guns races.

Young Guns 2023

Twenty boats lined up on the start line in the October drizzle, hoping the forecast breeze would materialise. From the outset, Dan took an easy lead in his Laser Standard, chased by Topper sailors Max and Harry. With a fleet aged 7 to 17, time was made for an all-important Haribo break between races by which time the wind had started to fill in, leading to quite a different race. This time, the Feva (Mim and Aidan) was first over the line with Jim (Laser 4.7) and Dan in pursuit, followed by Emily (Topper). The double-hander held Dan off for a decent stretch but lost the lead to him as he raced off towards Tesco. 

All twenty boats completed both races and whilst OOD Simon G. and Izzy C. processed the results, boats were hurriedly packed away in anticipation of the AGM or more accurately, the Rooster-sponsored prizegiving. 

The AGM was well-attended and in outgoing Class Captain Jenny’s absence, Rebecca took us through a review of the year highlighting the progress made on 2023 goals, the achievements of Juniors whilst sailing at CSC or further afield and a look at dates already planned for the 2024 season. Niall was introduced as the new Class Captain and took us through his goals for 2024 before handing back to Rebecca for the prizes.

By 1.30pm we’d celebrated our Junior Handicap qualifers and series winners, awarded the highest attendance, gave certificates to the winners of the Commodore’s Cup series and presented medals and Rooster t-shirts to the winners of Young Guns 2023. Dan was crowned this year’s Young Gun before prize-winners were photographed.

Thank you to everyone who made today run so smoothly, especially Simon and his AODs, Izzy C. and Rebecca. And to Rooster for supporting this event.

CSC Topper Open 2023