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Chance again for young to enjoy sailing boat

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LOCAL youngsters will get the chance to experience a sailing boat this month when Pilot Cutters Week returns to the island after a year-long break.

A chance to enjoy going out on the water on a sailing ship awaits local youngsters when Pilot Cutters Week returns from Monday 17 June.

Supported by the Set Sail Trust, the event started in 2006 with the aim of giving primary school, underprivileged or disadvantaged children and youth groups the opportunity to enjoy a unique nautical experience.

More than 700 children are expected to board the specialised sailing boats during the event, during which the trust also aims to raise awareness of Guernsey’s rich nautical history.

Pilot Cutters is one of the largest sailing youth participation events in the country and more than 600 children from 15 local schools and 15 youth groups benefited from the scheme in 2017.

‘We love coming over and taking youngsters out exploring

the Bailiwick of Guernsey’s beautiful waters,’ said skipper Nick Beck.

Before they set sail, every child will be given an educational booklet with activities to complete.

This includes a section detailing parts of the yacht so that the youngsters are able to help during their experience sailing a cutter ship. There is also a section on learning the weather, tides and the waters surrounding Guernsey, Herm and Sark, such as landmarks to look out for.

When they are out on the water, the children will be asked to help local wildlife organisations by logging what they spot at sea, from dolphins to seals and gulls to gannets.

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In addition to learning about the boats, the groups will be taught about the impact of plastic pollution in our oceans.

Set Sail Trust advisory committee chairman Andreas Tautscher said it was delighted that the pilot cutters were returning: ‘Sailing is a big part of the island’s heritage and taking part in such nautical activities is a hugely rewarding experience that can teach invaluable life skills,’ he said.

D’Arcy Brimson, education services outdoor education adviser, said this was an ‘incredibly valuable’ opportunity: ‘Being immersed in this outdoor experience will help put their classroom learning into context.’

The corporate ambassadors for this year are Altair, Appleby, Brooks MacDonald, Butterfield, Carey Olsen, IAM Advisory, Ravenscroft, RBSI and Rocq Capital.

The event runs for 10 days from 17-28 June.

. A pilot cutter’s purpose was to quickly ferry sailors to and from large ships with their speed and manoeuvrability needing only a minimal crew to operate the ship in any weather.

Mark Ogier

By Mark Ogier
News reporter

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