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Young sailors shine at the HRCST Junior Regatta

by Andrea Oakes 18 Jun 02:48 PDT 15 June 2019

Sunny skies and a stiff breeze made for fabulous conditions at the Helford River Children's Sailing Trust (HRCST) junior regatta on 15th June, where 30 young sailors tackled triangular and figure-of-eight courses off Porth Saxon beach.

In a busy afternoon that combined coaching with competition, the children raced in three dinghy categories: Optimist, RS Tera and Laser Pico. While the more experienced sailors took the opportunity to fine-tune their racing skills, many were taking part in their first-ever regatta.

"The wind conditions were quite challenging, but luckily the forecast showers didn't materialise," said HRCST deputy chief instructor Martin Fenton. "Our young sailors coped amazingly well and their skill levels improved immensely between the first race and the last.

"These regattas are a great opportunity for children to practise their starts, to steer a course and to start making speed against other boats," added Martin. "They were able to build upon many of the skills they've learned in HRCST sessions and we're very proud of how they performed." HRCST CEO Simon Osborne said: "It was fantastic to see so many smiling faces and such a 'can do' attitude among these young competitors. We're very grateful to them and to the many volunteers on the afternoon for their enthusiasm and commitment. We would also like to thank our sponsors, Toad Hall Cottages, and also the Ferryboat Inn for providing packed lunches for all the sailors."

Last year, HRCST provided lessons in sailing and kayaking lessons for more than 630 children and young people from 23 local primary schools - some with special educational needs or disabilities. Numbers are already up at this stage in the sailing season, with many more young sailors taking the opportunity to learn with HRCST through additional holiday courses.

The Trust recently unveiled exciting plans to build a 'Centre of Excellence for Watersports for All' at Trevassack Lake on the Lizard Peninsula, to further enhance its Helford River operations. The centre will comprise a learning centre and seven residential lodges, which will be specially adapted to provide family accommodation suitable for children with severe disabilities.

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