Sailor is chosen to join the elite

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Henry Smith moved one step closer to representing his country after he was named in the British Keelboat Academy (BKA).

The Long Crendon sailor will train with the rest of the academy throughout 2011 after impressing during a selection weekend.

He said: “I was delighted when I found out I’d been selected.

“It is a well respected programme that really helps young sailors like me get fully-involved in everything to do with sailing and racing big boats.”

At 21-years-old, Smith is the ideal age to make the step up and all going well he could soon be part of a professional team.

The Long Crendon sailor’s rise to the academy has been helped out by his university study as he now has the benefit of using the facilities at Plymouth.

As part of the academy, Smith will work his technique and will be integrated into the team.

The academy will also concentrate on the personal development of Smith to help him both on and off the water.

BKA head coach Luke McCarthy said: “We’re really excited about 2011 as we’ve once again been able to select a really promising, talented and passionate group of young sailors for next season.

“We were really impressed with the standard and quantity of applications received for the selections.”

As part of the academy, Smith will now take part in numerous high profile events.