June 2010: John Green has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours. John founded the Helford River Children’s Sailing Trust back in 1997. Since then the trust has gone from strength to strength and has allowed thousands of youngsters to learn to row and sail.
The venue:Porth Saxon beach, 4 July…
The weather: Scorchio!
The occasion: HRCST’s hotly contested Interschools Regatta, where dozens of young sailors gathered to put all they’ve learned in their after-school sessions into practice.
This year’s event saw eight schools and two home education groups vying for the coveted Interschools Regatta plaque, awarded to the team collecting the most points in a series of watersports challenges. As well as completing a rigging test and a fiendish sailing quiz, the sailors took to the water in kayaks and dinghies in an attempt to beat the clock and boost their scores.
“The whole event is about working together,” said Barnaby, of Mawnan School, whose team secured a top-three finish. “I particularly enjoyed the kayaking event because it was very much about the team, especially when the paddler had to change.”
In a fitting finale, the teams presented their sea shanties to a huge audience on the slipway – many of them making humorous references to the hard-working HRCST instructors. Once the points were totted up, Trannack School came out on top.
Holly, 9, a member of the winning Trannack team, said: “I couldn’t believe it when we won! There were six people in our team and two of us only started sailing in April. It was a really fun event and I felt very proud when we took the award to our school assembly.”
“Our pupils worked very hard during their lunch-breaks at school to practise knots and work on their sea shanties,” added Trannack headteacher Emma Stritt. “For a small school, of 65 pupils, we are delighted to be the proud winners yet again. The children have loved their sailing sessions with the HRCST this year; it’s a thrill to see them enjoy the freedom on the water and the sheer joy of sailing.”
With many families enjoying picnics and barbeques on the beach, the regatta was declared a sizzling success.
“It’s a celebration of everything we value and teach at HRCST, giving each child a chance to showcase their competence, confidence and resilience,” said HRCST senior instructor Sam Herbert, who praised the sailors’ enthusiasm and teamwork. “It was wonderful to welcome so many children and their families to the regatta. We hope to see many of them back again next year.”