ALCA Solidarity Program Report

At the 2023 Oceania & Australian Championships six girls were selected from around Australia to participate in the ALCA Solidarity program. The details of the program are in an earlier post Here.


This is an account of her experience by Victorian participant Maddy English from Mornington Yacht Club.


Late last year I was selected to represent Victoria in the ILCA Youth Solidarity programme at the 2023 Australia and Oceania ILCA National Championships in Sydney. The Solidarity programme is a new initiative designed to encourage young girls into the world of competitive ILCA sailing. Together with five girls from around Australia we formed the Solidarity team.


Over the eight day regatta I was fortunate to be introduced to the ILCA Female Australian Sailing team and Olympic medallist Matt Wearn, who shared their experiences and offered encouragement and advice. The Solidarity team and I were coached on and off water by Daniel Costandi, who guided us with great skill, calm and a great sense of humour.


The weather conditions proved challenging for me, as I found myself sailing in 20+ knots on a few of the days, however this intense experience improved my confidence sailing in larger fleets. With 180 ILCAs launching from the beach with sails flapping, my adrenaline was pumping! By the final days, I was closer to the start line where I needed to be. I also learned how to better trim my sail; after several capsizes in choppy, blustery conditions, staying upright is a great incentive to focus my attention on setting my sail controls right!


I had some amazing experiences out on the water, met some wonderful people and made some great friends. Thankyou John d’Helin and ILCA Victoria for this fantastic opportunity. I’m looking forward to the ILCA 2024 Championships in Adelaide!


Photo below is of the Solidarity Program girls & AST ILCA 6 Sailors.