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Feb 24, 2016

Young people from Splash and Wiltshire Young Carers sail the high seas

During the February half term an intrepid group of 8 young people aged 12 to 15 years old from Splash and Wiltshire Young Carers embarked on a week long voyage with the aim of learning to sail a 72ft Challenger (round the world) yacht. The voyage was predominantly funded by the Hugo Hawkes Charitable Trust (set up in memory of Hugo Hawkes, a passionate 12 year old sailor from Wiltshire who was killed in a road accident in 2007) along with over £430 that the young people fundraised themselves through a bag packing day.  

The group sailed with the Tall Ships Youth Trust and boarded the yacht in Portsmouth and throughout the week moored at marinas in Cowes, Lymington and Poole with the last night spent at anchor near Sandown on the Isle of Wight. Throughout the voyage the young people worked together to prepare the boat, hoist sails, pull in lines, tie different knots, check weather charts and plan the daily navigation route.  They also planned, budgeted and prepared all the meals for everyone and regularly cleaned the boat, including the “heads” (toilets).

All eight of the young people thoroughly enjoyed the experience and didn’t want to leave. Quotes from them included: 

“Climbing the mast would have to be my favourite part of our trip, the views have been amazing and I wouldn’t change anything for the world.” 

At times it was hard but we kept going because we made it fun.” 

“Everything was awesome, I wouldn’t change a thing.” 

“The wave size were huge and intense, a few of the crew members barfed chunks. We were rocking, bouncing and eventually flying”

Whilst on-board the young people embraced the experience and improved their team working skills, confidence, self-esteem and challenged themselves to overcome their fears. They also worked towards an ASDAN leadership qualification and RYA Start Yachting qualification which they all achieved. They were presented with their certificates on the dock side in Portsmouth by Nigel Hawkes (from Hugo Hawkes Charitable Trust). After a long and hard time deliberating Sue (skipper) and the rest of the crew felt that Tom had achieved the most from the voyage so he was presented with a trophy for the ‘Most Improved Crewmember’.

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