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St John's Sail Training

The St John's Sail Training crew Lilia Evans, Ella Bullen, William Donaldson, Tait van Strien, Henry O’Brien and Ben Holmes, departed the Hamble River on Sunday 2 April under the watchful eye of a skilled captain and crew.

Making their way up the Solent on the first morning was slow progress, but it allowed the crew to learn sail combinations, tacking and helm skills.

The second night at Yarmouth was relaxed as the St John's crew worked on their RYA Competent Crew Certification theory. Leaving Yarmouth the following day in a thick fog did not deter the expedition, and they sailed westward through the Needles, onto the fairway towards the Dorset coast. As the fog cleared, the wind picked up, and they were soon flying towards Weymouth.

The next day after leaving the quay in Weymouth the wind picked up and reached F5 after lunch. The crew agreed that this was an opportunity to put the yacht through its paces. Each St John's crew member took turns to control the yacht, practised three tacks and a controlled jibe without assistance from the afterguard. Captain Chris Beane was on hand to take charge if things went wrong. After the manoeuvres sail was set for Poole harbour.

The captain decided to reverse roles and hand the vessel to the pupils completely. A Captain, Mate, Watch Officer, Navigation Officer and x2 watch leaders were selected, and the adults became the crew. The St John’s pupils charted passage from Poole to East Cowes.

On our return journey the Skipper notified each of the pupils and discussed their progress. Mr Mooney was informed that not only had they all completed their RYA Competent Crew they had been awarded the 'Scott Award' for giving of their best and have been invited back to train as Watch Officers.

Published on 21/04/2017

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