YOUNGSTERS who took a plunge into the unknown have been presented with certificates recognising their achievements.
Ten teenagers signed up for Gosport Marine Futures earlier in the year having never sailed before.
‘The programme wasn’t just about sailing but also learning life skills. It is brilliant that they all want to stay involved in sailing.’Lucy Gross
During the six-month programme, which was organised by Gosport Marine Scene, members learnt skills and also spent a week in Cowes being taught how to sail keel boats and a 65ft yacht.
Participants also represented Gosport in a 160-mile Small Ships Race from Dartmouth to their home town.
The 10 teens now have The Royal Yachting Association Competent Crew accreditation and have become youth ambassadors for Gosport Marine Scene.
Three members of the programme – Megan Eddles, Sophie Smith and Danni Crutcher – were presented with their certificates at Southampton Boat Show.
On her experience, Danni said: ‘My favourite part was the racing. We’ve made great new friends from our crew and also the crews from the 23 other yachts that raced in the Small Ships race.
Sophie added: ‘I’m now tempted by a job on one of the Sunseeker or Princess motorboats, but I think my heart is still with sails, and becoming a sail training skipper to see other people have the opportunity I have had.’
The programme could not have been completed without the hard work of the volunteers who spent hours organising events.
Abby Thomson, founding director of the programme, said: ‘All of the team are really proud about every achievement they’ve all earned.
‘We’re very happy with the first edition and look forward to running the programme next year.’
Lucy Gross, director of the Marine Scene, said: ‘The programme wasn’t just about sailing but also learning life skills. It is brilliant that they all want to stay involved in sailing.’
Gosport councillor John Beavis, an advisor to the Marine Scene, said: ‘It was lovely to hear their own experiences of their time on the programme.
‘They’ve all said that they now want to pursue a career in the marine industry, which is what we wanted to do from the start.’