ELEVEN promising sailors and windsurfers will benefit from new boats and boards.

The youngsters are are the 2017 beneficiaries of the John Merricks Sailing Trust and OnBoard Partnership.

These lucky sailors, who include windsurfer Clay Yelland from the Official Test Centre (OTC) Portland and Swanage's Alexander Meadway, now get two years’ exclusive use of their boat or board before it is goes to their club for other young sailors to continue benefitting from it in the future.

This is the fifth year the JMST and OnBoard have partnered to donate single-handed junior pathway boats and boards to promising young sailors who may not ordinarily have had the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their goals. No fewer than 64 boats and boards have been donated since 2012.

Yelland, 13, is one of three mad keen windsurfing brothers and sister who learned to sail at the OTC earlier this year and has become a dedicated Team15 member.

Weymouth lad Clay, the eldest sibling, borrowed the centre's kit to compete in the 4.5 class at the UKWA/RYA Junior National Championships at Grafham Water in September, finishing fifth overall (fourth boy).

He has recently been selected for the RYA Zone Squad.

Clay said: "The windsurfing community is friendly, kind and helpful and although I sail alone I feel part of a team. It's going to be great to have my own board that will be adjusted to me so I can get to know my kit and keep it maintained.

"It would also be amazing to make the best use of my board and be able to give it back to the OTC for other children to use in the future, as I want to be someone that can help others who are new to windsurfing."