2018 no time for Post Fastnet Blues

2 January, 2020

Following the success of the Fastnet and being the first comprehensive state school to do so, it was time to start looking ahead to the next goal, of back-to-back Fastnet campaigns. A new crew, a mentally tougher and stronger crew who had started sailing from an earlier age were keen to prove they too could do the Fastnet, and beat the previous crew.

Whilst experience is key, qualitifications help define the project. Safety is our number one priority. Day Skipper, Ocean Safety and Sea Survival courses were all completed and passed by potential crew. The fleet of boats was increasing with 3 squibs added. Participation in sailing is increasing and 140 students would take to the water, including 30 school trips which resulted in over 105 days of sailing outside of the classroom.

On the water the experience was building, Scaramouche Won the Small Ships Race: Ramsgate to Gosport and the finished second in race in Cowes Week! Girls are in the minority at Greig City Academy so getting a project for them up and running is harder, however girls only trips started in 2018 and this is something that would flourish going forwards. Keel boating is on the increase and the crew won four races out of six in the Etchells Youth Academy and won the use of a fully funded boat for the season, they took part in Antigua Race Week finishing second in class and completed in the Miami Mid-Winters Etchells Series finishing 12/56 in the Louis Piana Cup.

The lessons learned by the students are consistent, they have greater resilience, their communications skills have improved, and they can now work in a cohesive team both as part of a crew or during school-based tasks. They thrive on the boat maintenance side of the project and figuring out the intricacies and how to get things working again. A more formal programme has been developed which will feed from squibs into Etchells.

Boat inventory: Scaramouche, Riot, McGreggor, 3 x squibs, 2x GP14s, Laser, Optimist, 420