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Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager

As a youth Duncan grew up in Rotherham, and benefitted at that time from sailing at Ulley Sailing Club when there was a glut of talented young sailors, enthusiastic coaches, volunteers and supportive parents, all of whom encouraged the development of Ulley’s young sailors both within the club and also spurring them on to progress into regional and national racing.

Duncan spent most of his youth career racing a Laser, and competing on the regional Laser circuit and the local schools traveller’s circuit before progressing into the RYA National Youth Squad programmes.  He grew up alongside another talented Laser sailor at Ulley; and throughout those years spent much of his youth enjoying training, sharing travel to regattas, and competing against great friend and rival Paul Goodison (now World, European and Olympic Champion in the Laser class).  This was not only great fun, but an excellent way to spend high quality (and fun) time afloat improving and addressing their weaknesses.  The skills learnt throughout his youth sailing have served him well throughout his career so far.

The highlight of Duncan’s youth racing career was probably the Laser Youth European Championship 1997, Cascais, Portugal where Duncan finished 6th.

Duncan spent three years in the RYA National Youth Squad before attending the University of Wales, Swansea, to study Economics and Politics whilst on a full sports scholarship for sailing.  He then worked for Laser Performance (then Performance Sailcraft Europe Ltd) before training as an RYA National Racing Coach for the Laser National Youth Squads and RYA Transition Training Programmes.

Duncan has worked with the RYA since 2001.  Initially, he was employed as a freelance Laser Squad coach, and then subsequently as a fulltime RYA member of staff commencing in 2002.  His first role was as an RYA High Performance Manager, then as the RYA Junior Racing Manager and now as the RYA Youth Racing Manager. 

Duncan assumed the mantle of Youth Racing Manager in January 2009 and in a revision of the Youth Manager role he is now responsible for providing the strategic leadership and overall direction of the RYA’s highly successful Junior & Youth Racing programmes.


Nowadays, work permitting, which is not as often as he would like, Duncan is a regular on the big boating scene, racingboth inshore and offshore in the Farr 45 class and on a Ker 46 called ‘Fair Do’s VII’.  His recent results include:

Winning Team Rolex Commodores Cup 2008
Winning the transatlantic (ARC) race, racing division (2008)
Winning the IRC Nationals 2008
2009 Rolex Fastnet Race, 18th IRC overall 
Rolex Commodores Cup 2006, Top overall boat 
IRC Nationals 2007, 2nd 
During 2010, amongst other things he plans to compete in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race which starts from Cowes in August.