Wow, 2016 was a cracker! Probably our best yet in every way. We aim to ‘raise the bar’ every season, and certainly we did this year with 609 individual young sailors who enthusiastically created a total of 5,002 sailor sea outings. We squeezed in an extra 42 teaching sessions this season compared to last.
All this activity relies hugely on the framework of support behind the on-the-water team, namely the trustees, parents, drivers, school secretaries, teachers, coordinators and volunteers. Without all of these none of our success would be possible.
We would like to expand our volunteer bank next season to reduce the inevitable cost of ‘raising the bar’ and growing our operation to give as many children as possible a life changing experience. I would also like to encourage more adults to get involved both on the water and behind the scenes – fundraising is always a challenge! (contact firstname.lastname@example.org).
We started the season from our new base at Helford Passage adjacent to the Ferry Boat Inn. We have had great support from all involved, and enjoyed the greater public interest in what we do. The facilities we now share with the Gig Club are fantastic, and in the beautiful environment of Helford Passage, who could wish for more?
With the future in mind, I would like to pass on the huge bank of knowledge gained through our years of activity on the Helford to a new generation of instructors. We will need to staff the additional facility at Trevassack Lake while maintaining our river operations at the current high standards. To this end we have forged a link with the Marine College in Falmouth, which, combined with our own youth training scheme, is likely to produce a healthy crop.
Our thanks as always go to the Fawells, the Blighs and the Graham-Vivians for allowing us to use their beaches, Ian Wells and the Helford River Boats team for their support, the National Trust for allowing us the use of Carwinion boathouse and the Durgan facilities, Helford River Sailing Club for access to the water and joint training opportunities for children and volunteers, and Margaret and Tom Green for continued access to Calamansac for fleet recovery and maintenance with assistance from Tony Ellan. So many people make what we do possible, and every link in our chain is strong.
2017 will undoubtedly offer new challenges, but we will be here, encouraging youngsters to become more self-confident, capable, and proud individuals and sailors.