Cartwright relishing new RYA Coaching Development role

For the past six years Helen Cartwright has played a leading role in putting Great Britain at the forefront of Junior, Youth and Olympic Classes windsurfing.

Now Chester-born Cartwright has been charged with ensuring the UK’s sailing and windsurfing coaches remain at the head of the international pack after being appointed the new RYA Coaching Development Manager.

The role of the RYA Coaching Development Manager is to develop coaching from grassroots to Olympic level throughout the sport of sailing whether in windsurfing, dinghy racing or keelboats.

And having held the position of RYA National Windsurfing Coach since 2002 – during which time she helped create the BIC Techno Junior Class and oversaw its evolution into the world’s most competitive Junior Windsurfing class – 29-year-old Cartwright cannot wait to start applying her ideas to the overall sailing scene.

She said: “I am fascinated by how people learn and progress and how we can help performers unlock their potential and find their strengths.

“Every challenge that faces every coach is different, whether they work with the top Olympic sailors or those just starting out in their sailing careers, but every coach is crucial as they can have such a major influence on how a sailor’s career pans out.

“We have a duty to help every coach to be the best they can be and I look forward to supporting the coaches in taking their sailors and themselves onwards and upwards.”

A former ISAF Youth Worlds windsurfing bronze medallist and four times National champion, Cartwright moved into coaching in 2000 while studying for her degree in Applied Sports Performance at Liverpool John Moores University.

She describes her coaching ethos as ‘Flexibility is king – using the right style at the right time to the right person,’ and believes that a coach adapting their style to the needs and demands of the particular sailor can make a real difference.

Cartwright perceives the biggest challenge in her new role as ensuring best practice can be shared from the highest levels to the grassroots and creating equal access to the latest developments and ideas.

RYA Racing Manager and Performance Director John Derbyshire said: “It is great for the RYA to be able to appoint one of our top coaches, who has experience across the racing programme from Junior to elite performance, to take the Coaching Development programme forward following Alan Olive’s move to sports coach UK.

“We have one of the leading coaching programmes in the World and as a former top windsurfing competitor Helen is well placed to add value to the continuing development of our coaches.”

For more information on the RYA’s Coaching Development programme visit



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