Royal Navy hands British Army the helm of military's adventurous sailing site in Gosport

SOLDIERS from the British Army have taken over the role of providing adventurous training at sea from the Royal Navy.

By Tom Cotterill
Friday, 1st April 2022, 4:01 pm

The landmark move was officially unveiled earlier today during a ceremony at the Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre in Haslar Creek, Gosport.

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The hub, now in its 50th year, had been run by the Royal Navy, offering trips out to sea for personnel from all three arms of the military.

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The moment the Royal Navy flag was lowered and the British Army flag raised at today's ceremony to mark the transferring of command of the Joint Services Adventure Sail Training Centre in Gosport Photographer: Corporal Rob Kane

But the British Army was the biggest customer at the centre so military chiefs agreed it should fall to soldiers from the army’s adventurous training group (ATG) to take the helm.

Colonel Neil Wilson, who heads up the army’s ATG said: ‘This has been fantastic news as today we take over the Joint Service Adventurous Sail Training Centre because the army has the capacity and the where with all to run this centre and keep it going for defence.

‘We will still be able to provide adventurous sail training for our service personnel. The army’s adventurous training group is set up to run these sort of centres, it has the expertise, passion and enthusiasm to take this on.’

The facility has operated from Gosport since 1972 and remains one of the largest providers of sail training in the world.

Guests were shown around the training centre prior to the handover ceremony. Photo: Corporal Rob Kane

It handles some 4,000 students each year and boasts a fleet of 32 yachts which can be in any of the world’s seas and oceans on transcontinental passages and expeditions.

Offshore sailing is already a staple part of the army ATG’s portfolio and now they will have a dedicated centre in the UK to teach military personnel how to sail.

The training sees military personnel take part in adventurous sailing exercises around the world including in the Atlantic, Canary Islands, Arctic Circle, Scottish west coast, and Baltic Sea, among others.

Tim Wood is the manager of the sailing centre and said the new deal had secured the facility’s future.

He added: ‘There have been risks over the years and so the transfer to the army means continuity.

‘We are in a great location, probably the best along the south coast, right next to the entrance to the Solent; we have fantastic boats and all he staff are recruited locally.

‘Moving ahead into the future means we are keeping this all alive.’

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