Woodroffe School Sailing Group returns to the water

THE Woodroffe School Sailing Group – first established 50 years ago – is up and running once again under a newly-qualified senior instructor.

First set up by John Wiscombe in 1968, the sailing group had run continuously ever since until last year, when it proved impossible to find a senior instructor to run the team.

But students are now able to take to the water once again, after Simon Ransom Williams, head of science at Woodroffe, qualified earlier this year at the Plymouth Royal Navy Training Establishment as a senior instructor. Sailing resumed at the start of the summer term, much to the delight of both students and staff.

In 1968, the group used Lyme Regis Adventure Centre’s boats and equipment. This was an outdoor activities centre housed on Monmouth Beach, where Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy is now based. Woodroffe continued to operate from there until 1995 when the council closed the centre and the charity Lyme Regis Sea School was set up, having been given half of the equipment from the centre.

The Sea School became an associate member of Lyme Regis Sailing Club a few years later and continues to work closely with the club to promote sailing. The sailing club’s youth section uses the Sea School boats and the Sea School uses the club’s premises.

This year, the fleet of over 20 single and double hander boats has been improved enormously and the addition of two new Laser Bahira dinghies raises the standard to a new high, enabling instructors to teach almost the full range of Dinghy RYA Sailing Course.

Chairman Chris Joyner said that work put into repairing and replacing the fleet has been enormous and the Sea School is particularly thankful to local shoppers who voted for the charity in Tesco’s ‘Bags of Help’ scheme, as well as to the ongoing campaign in Lyme regis Co-operative and to Lyme Regis Town Council for its recent grant.

Over the summer the Sea School will be running a number of courses and there are spaces for weeks beginning July 23 and August 13 for both adults and children. For further details visit www.lrss.org.ukor email bookings@lrss.org.uk

The team of instructors are largely local residents who have progressed through the Sea School training schemes, where they undertake rigorous training and practice to become qualified RYA Instructors and senior instructors. The training and experience develops self-confidence in young people and the life skills of communication and self-organisation, which are difficult for schools to replicate.

Many of the instructors are now in highly responsible managerial roles in numerous professions

Woodmead Halls
About Francesca Evans 434 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

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