BVIOC presents Virgin Island 49er sailors, Anderson & Brockbank with Olympic Scholarship

(l-r) Mark Chapman, treasurer, BVIOC, presents Olympic Solidarity funding to Rio 2016 hopefuls, Christopher Brockbank, 49er crew, and Alec Anderson, 49er skipper.

(l-r) Mark Chapman, treasurer, BVIOC, presents Olympic Solidarity funding to Rio 2016 hopefuls, Christopher Brockbank, 49er crew, and Alec Anderson, 49er skipper.

Virgin Island 49er sailors, Alec Anderson and Christopher Brockbank have been awarded an Olympic Scholarship by the BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC). The combined, fixed $2000 monthly subsidy will assist them in their preparation and qualification for the Summer Games of the XXXI Olympiad, Rio 2016.

The funding comes from the Olympic Solidarity programme that aims to promote universal representation at the Olympic Games. The programme offers National Olympic Committees (NOCs) the possibility to obtain financial and technical assistance for a limited number of elite athletes who are training, and attempting to qualify, for the Rio Olympic Games.
“The BVIOC applied for the funding from Olympic Solidarity who made the grant once they were satisfied that Anderson and Brockbank met the criteria,” said Ephraim Penn, president, BVIOC. “The BVIOC in conjunction with the BVI Sailing Federation had to show the Olympic Solidarity committee that the sailors are international level athletes practicing an individual sport included on the Olympic programme and have sufficient level to be able to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games.”

The two sailors now also have access to technical information on the Rio Olympic Games. One of the funding stipulations requires Anderson and Brockbank to report back to the BVIOC on their training and progress.

“The Olympic Scholarship makes a huge difference to our campaign for Rio 2016,” said Anderson. “We will be using the funds to help pay for the costs of a professional coach. The expenses involved in training for Olympic level games are quite large and we have been very fortunate so far with securing donations be it in cash or kind. We are working with a couple of additional sponsors to help with defraying the other major costs involved in the road to Rio 2016.”

Anderson and Brockbank, who launched their Road to Rio fundraising and awareness campaign in July, will be heading to Florida at the end of November to rig their brand new 49er, a two-handed, high-performance sailing dinghy, donated to the duo by an anonymous benefactor.

The athletes will start their rigorous training programme and racing competitions in Florida in December. The two will also compete in other racing events in the USA and will be traveling to Europe in the Spring where they will continue to train and sail through the Summer months in preparation for the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships to be held in September in Santander, Spain. The Worlds is the combined annual World Championships for all of the Olympic Sailing Disciplines and will be used as qualification for Rio 2016.

Anderson is a three-times ICSA Coed All-American and was also a finalist for the Everett B. Morris College Sailor of the Year Award at the time of completing his college career. He graduated this June from the Roger Williams University, Rhode Island with a Bachelors degree in International Business.

Brockbank is a talented sailor who has proven himself from an early age as single-handed sailor, crew, and captain in regional dinghy racing competitions. He most recently worked as the water sports instructor at Necker Island and will complete his studies and exams this fall at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College.

Anderson is the helm of the 49er while Brockbank handles the sail control. The 49er was selected by the International Sailing Federation after a series of trials for a high performance, two-person skiff and has been in every olympics since its debut in Sydney Olympic Games of 2000.