YOUNG sailors had an audience with the mayor when she presented their much-deserved sailing certificates.
The group, aged 14 to 17, took part in the Gosport Marine Scene Sail Training programme from April to September.
They were given the opportunity to try different types of sailing – in dinghies, keel boats and yachts.
There was a visit to the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) and the coastguard helicopter.
The idea was to show the teenagers what opportunities there were with maritime jobs and leisure activities.
Sailing certificates were presented to the crew at the Southampton Boat Show in September.
But two of the participants, Jack Britton who has autism, and Bradley Edmondson, were unable to make the awards ceremony so instead were honoured by the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Lynn Hook.
She presented them with their RYA certificates of competence in her parlour with their proud families looking on.
Cllr Hook said: ‘This has been a very successful programme for the young people of Gosport and I was delighted to be able to honour Jack and Bradley for their achievements in this adventurous journey which clearly means a great deal to them and their families.’
Jack’s mum Tina said: ‘I’m so proud of him. He’s absolutely amazing. I’ve never seen him so happy. It brought tears to my eyes.’
Bradley’s stepdad Ben Glenton said: ‘We are really proud and grateful that he was offered this experience.’
Lucy Gross, the general manager of the Association Of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO), said: ‘I’m delighted with the success of the Gosport Marine Futures programme set up by Gosport Marine Scene. The highlight for the young crew was taking part in the ASTO Small Ships Race which couldn’t have taken place without the outstanding support from Gosport Borough Council, Gosport Marine Scene and Gosport sailing clubs including Hornet SC and the Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre.’