Panerai and the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) have announced 18-year-old Nicola Stockdale as the winner of the inaugural Panerai Challenger Trophy.
Of the 40 entries received, Nicola Stockdale stood out to the judges as a key volunteer at the Debdale Outdoor Centre in Manchester, where she works every Saturday morning, putting in more than 500 hours over the past two years.
As part of the Panerai Challenger Trophy, RYA OnBoard clubs and training centres across England were encouraged to nominate a young sailor who has had to overcome physical, economic or social challenges to achieve a significant milestone in sailing or windsurfing.
Ms Stockdale works with younger children, encouraging them to take up mentoring roles, and she has now acquired an assistant-instructor qualification.
The celebrations took place at the first of what will be an annual awards dinner at the Royal Yacht Squadron.
As part of the prize, Panerai will provide Nicola and her sailing club with funding, demonstrating Panerai’s ongoing support towards the social and inclusive spirit of local sailing and windsurfing clubs.
Nicola will receive £5,000 to support her sailing ambitions and her club, Debdale Outdoor Centre, will receive a fund of £10,000.
The three runners-up will receive £2,500 each, and their clubs will each receive £5,000.
During this 3-year initiative, Panerai has committed to making a total investment of £120,000 to demonstrate the sport’s accessibility and to inspire the next generation of sailors.