TEN teenagers will have the chance to complete a sailing course which will give them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Gosport Marine Scene is searching for a young crew to take part in the sail training bursary Gosport Marine Futures.
Open to young people aged 14 to 17, who live in Gosport, the six-month course will give them the chance to race from Dartmouth to Gosport.
Councillor John Beavis, who is part of Gosport Marine Scene, said: ‘We’ve put together this package largely aimed at disadvantaged young people, but also for those interested in learning some really good skills.
‘We’re hoping this will motivate more people to look at careers in the marine industry.’
The chosen crew will begin the course this year which includes team-building activities and sail training.
We aim to inspire the next generation to take up sailing and careers in the maritime sector.Abby Thomson
They will work with Gosport’s Little Brigs, Cowes-based UKSA and Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue (Gafirs) before racing against 150 other young crews from around the UK in August.
After completing the training, the crew will earn Royal Yacht Association Competent Crew accreditation and receive support to join sailing clubs or the Gosport Sea Cadet Unit, to continue to develop their skills. They will also complete work experience in maritime companies.
Businesses in Gosport have provided the finance to create the bursary, including Alex Thomson Racing, Marine Advertising Agency, Marina Projects and Haslar Marina.
Trinity House has also helped by awarding a grant of £4,000 to cover the cost of the residential week at UKSA.
Abby Thomson, founding director of Gosport Marine Scene, said: ‘This is a real boost and a gesture of confidence in our programme.
‘We aim to inspire the next generation to take up sailing and careers in the maritime sector.
‘As well as time on the water they will meet and hear stories of adventure from local legends.
‘Gosport Marine Futures will be their own adventure, a challenge, and an experience the crew will never forget.
‘The skills learnt will help for life.’
To apply visit gosportmarinefestival.org.uk. The closing date is this Sunday.