Portsmouth school given keelboat to enjoy sailing

RS Venture keelboat

RS Venture keelboat

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The Harbour School in Portsmouth have taken delivery of a brand new RS Venture keelboat, thanks to funding from Sport England.

The boat will be ideal for giving pupils, including those with special needs, a chance to get out on the water and experience the fun of sailing on a stable and seaworthy boat.

Lisa Taylor, assistant headteacher of The Harbour School, worked with Nathan Staley from Portsmouth Watersports Centre and Hannah Cockle and Susie Moore from the RYA to submit a small grants bid to Sport England to fund the boat.

‘We were successful in our bid and were able to buy the Venture Keel Boat,’ said Taylor.

‘We are absolutely thrilled.

‘We have asked the children and young people to come up with names for the boat which our outdoor staff will choose.’

The school has been holding the competition to name the boat since last week and the result will be announced shortly.

The RS Venture will undertake a ‘sail past’, weather permitting, at Tipner in the next few weeks.

The purpose of that is to proudly show the boat off to the pupils and to staff from the Portsmouth Watersports Centre, where it will be stored on behalf of the school.

A sailor from Portsmouth-based Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing will be coming along to talk to the young learners.

The Harbour School is a special school in Portsmouth which provides learning for children young people who present with a range of social, emotional and mental health needs.

The deck is purpose designed so that crewmembers can sit securely on inner seats or on wide side decks, to give a range of options ideal for both nervous beginners and experienced sailors.

The Venture keelboat, produced by RS Sailing, can take up to eight people, and will be made available toother schools and partner groups to encourage more young people to get involved in sailing.

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