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.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats” Wind in the Willows
Heloise and Izzie Kennedy have been sailing with HRCST for four years. Here Heloise tells us how lessons with HRCST helped her: “You get to be a better sailor” says Heloise “without realising (because you are having so much fun).” I’m sure Rat would approve. What she doesn’t let on is which she prefers: lunch at the Ferryboat or the Shipwrights…
Izzie (my sister) and I have been sailing with the Helford River Children Sailing Trust (HRCST) for four years. I enjoy it because all of the instructors are really nice and they teach you, well, to become a better sailor. They push you out of your comfort zone and you have the chance to sail with different people in different boats. They do different challenges which help you get to know each other and, when there isn’t enough wind to sail, you go kayaking. We sometimes explore the Helford River in our kayaks and we play games like fruit salad and we all get soaking wet.
The HRCST help you progress with your sailing and it doesn’t matter if you have never sailed before because by the end of the week you will be able to sail a boat on your own. All of the different boats are very fun to sail in and one that I sailed with my dad was a Feva XL and it was called Uncle Giles.
If you have come from the Helford Passage, you can always enjoy lunch at the Ferry Boat Inn, but if you come from Helford, you can enjoy lunch at the Shipwright Arms after you have sailed. To get to and from Port Saxon (the beach where all the boats and rigging are kept) you either go on the ferry or on the safety boat. If you go on the safety boat, after you have got out of the harbour, it is very fun as you go very fast but you also get very wet!
You can also complete your RYA certificates with the HRCST as Izzie and I did In August 2018. Also, when you are too old to be a student at the HRCST you can become an assistant instructor. Another point is that, if your parents have completed their RYA powerboat Level 2 they can become a volunteer to drive the safety boats on the weeks that you are doing the sailing course.
You make lots of friends at the HRCST and sometimes, you see them every year at the sailing course. All of the drills you do are really fun because you do capsize practice, you sail from beach to beach or you can sail a different, harder boat with people you don’t know. The HRCST is a very caring community and they welcome everyone, no matter their ability. Overall, I think the Helford River Children Sailing Trust is a very fun place to learn sailing, and, without realising (because you are having so much fun), you have become a better sailor over the course of four days!
Heloise Kennedy, September 2018.