When We Can We Will.
At the Scaramouche Sailing Trust, we utilise sailing to build resilience, confidence, and a new level of aspiration in our crew. Covid-19 and the ongoing social distancing guidelines have created a few additional hurdles for us. However, anyone who has met our crew will know that this amount of time away from the water has lead to a whole new level of determination, and we are using our time wisely so that when we can get back on the water we are prepared.
Here is a little bit about what we have been going on in lockdown.
Our racing yacht Scaramouche came out the water at the end of 2019 for her planned winter maintenance. The list of work was extensive, and now she has a greatly improved interior and a lovely polished hull, waiting for new graphics. With this work now complete, she waits on the hard at Hamble Yacht Services, for the thumbs up to launch. Once in the water, she will return to her berth in Haslar Marina.
Last year our girls programme gained traction and continues to gather pace, under the leadership of our Trustee Allie Smith and supported by Annie O’Sullivan, Yachtmaster and an advocate for getting women sailing. Regrettably, our trip to join Maiden on her world tour has been postponed, as Maiden returned to the UK due to the current pandemic. We continue to develop this part of the project and we look forward to joining Maiden when we can.
There are many sailing elements to our project, and whilst the on-water activities are on hold there is plenty to share with our supporters.
Our youngsters continued to sail at our local reservoir in dinghies right up to the point at which the sailing centre was forced to close. When they are back open, and when we can safely get back on the water we will. Our 420, 29er, Laser and Topper remain in the dinghy park, aka Greig City Academy school grounds. A dinghy simulator in the sports hall has been set up and where the students can they are working on their personal fitness levels.
Our crew won the use of a fully funded Etchells for the year, when we can, we will commence the senior regattas. The squibs and their crew are waiting for their signal to launch, the plan is to train two boys’ teams and one year 9 girls team to compete in the Southern Area Champs.
During our last Dragon regatta in Vilamoura big improvements were made and the highlight was the crew winning a race. We maintain close connections with the class and we clearly left an impression as we featured in one of the International Dragon Associations podcasts.We hope to join in some Dragon events in the future.
Boat maintenance is one element of our project. We are grateful to those in the industry that help support our project through the provision of equipment and also knowledge sharing. Factory tours such as the ones we have been invited on with Roger Cerrato from Lewmar are of immense value. With Riot now completed, only waiting on her asymmetric spinnaker and attention is on Eros which is nearly ready.
Stopping all activities is not an option. Sailing is a lifeline to many of our students. Whilst activities on the water are cancelled, these are replaced shore-based training. This is something we always do regardless of Covid-19.
Our training has taken to Zoom and online courses, with practical courses to follow once restrictions are lifted. To date, the following has happened:
- 12 students completed their RYA VHF course
- 8 students have passed their RYA Day Skipper Theory
- 4 students have passed their RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship Course
If at first the path seems blocked or confused, we work to find the best possible way to adapt and keep the project on target. Our students come from our feeder school Greig City Academy. Rolling the programme over to the following academic year is not always practical due to the different demands on year groups, so our primary goal is to try and get as many students sailing as we can so they gain the experiences they deserve during this academic year.
We spread the word of the Scaramouche Sailing Trust through talks at sailing clubs. These are a great way to get additional funding so we can continue to do develop our students and provide life-changing opportunities. During these talks, the students gain confidence and develop their own presentation skills. We continue to be approached to present, most recently we have been asked to give a series of talks to other Sport England funded projects and those going through the funding proposal process. When we can, we will deliver these.
‘When we can we will’ is our current motto. Scaramouche is missing the crew, and the crew are certainly missing Scaramouche.
If you can, please help us to continue the work we are doing through donating to the Scaramouche Sailing Trust. Your donation will make a difference to the lives of those involved in the project https://www.gofundme.com/f/scaramouche-sailing-trust.