Portsmouth Harbour Marine searches for 10 young crew to represent Gosport in Small Ships Race!

Portsmouth Harbour Marine is offering a life-changing opportunity to ten young people from Gosport in the form of a sail training bursary called ‘Gosport Marine Futures’, which includes a place in the Small Ships Race. All 14-17 years old living in the Gosport area can apply. Learning to sail develops personal skills that improve young people’s ability to succeed in life, and offers a route to maritime jobs and careers.

“The crew will begin a 6-month course of team building activities and sail training, designed around school commitments, with Gosport’s Little Brigs, Cowes-based UKSA and GAFIRS, the Stokes Bay rescue service. In August, our team will race from Dartmouth to Gosport with Discovery Sailing Project, competing against 150 young crew from around the UK,” explains Councillor John Beavis MBE who, together with the teams at Motiv8 and the Gosport Community Safety Partnership, was Portsmouth Harbour Marine’s inspiration to develop the programme.

On completion of the sail training, the crew will earn RYA Competent Crew accreditation, and receive support to join local sailing clubs or the Gosport Sea Cadet Unit, to continue to develop their skills. They will meet local employers for marine work experience and become the Portsmouth Harbour Marine Youth Ambassadors. They will pass on the baton to the next crew at the Gosport Marine Festival on 27th May 2017.

Speaking at Bridgemary School, to students attending the Gosport Enterprising Women event, Abby Thomson, Founding Director of Portsmouth Harbour Marine said ‘We aim to inspire the next generation to take up sailing and careers in the maritime sector. Over 1000 free on-the-water taster sessions have been delivered since 2013. Gosport Marine Futures is the next step for us. This will be an adventure, a challenge, and an experience you will never forget. The skills you learn will help you for your whole life.”

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage added “I hope all the Gosport community will get behind our crew and follow their progress via the Gosport Marine Festival facebook page”.

To apply for this incredible opportunity visit www.gosportmarinefestival.org.uk to download full details on Gosport Marine Futures, including dates and an application form. Closing date is 21st February 2016. You don’t need previous sailing experience. You must be up for a challenge. The 10 successful crew, together as a team, will fundraise £150pp, which is the final 10% of the cost of the programme.

Businesses are invited to get involved with the Gosport Marine Futures programme through various sponsorship opportunities. To discuss these please email abby@gosportmarinescene.com