Turn to Starboard, the charity using sailing to support Armed Forces personnel affected by military operations, has unveiled its plan to move into the world of competitive racing.
In partnership with Help for Heroes and The Endeavour Fund, the charity will launch a new racing division in May from a new office at Gosport.
The Cornwall-based charity was set up three years ago and believes sailing has a therapeutic effect on those affected by military operations. It recently reached a major milestone after providing 1000 sailing opportunities to veterans and has helped many gain sailing qualifications to help start new careers in the marine industry.
According to Chief Executive and founder Shaun Pascoe, the new venture will help to increase the number of sailing opportunities for veterans while honing skills for aspiring Yachtmasters on the charity’s training course.
“We are honoured to enter into the world of competitive racing which is a natural progression of what we offer and provides a great way for those affected by operations to learn new skills, rebuild confidence and connect with other veterans,” he said. “Thanks to the incredible support from Help for Heroes and The Endeavour Fund, this exciting new venture will help show that suffering from physical or mental injuries doesn’t have to mean aspiring to less, while serving as a gateway to future opportunities in the sport.”
Over the summer months, the charity is planning to enter a series of local races and regattas including the annual Round the Island Race. The one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight regularly attracts over 1,700 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it one of the largest yacht races in the world.
To celebrate the launch, Turn to Starboard is holding a fun 3-day sailing event from May 24 to 26 at Haslar Marina in Gosport. Up to 60 veterans from all over the UK are invited to apply to sail on board 10 racing yachts especially chartered for the event.
“On day one, crew members can learn the basics of sailing in a relaxed environment with instruction from a professional skipper,” said Shaun. “The second day is some basic racing rules, tactics and general knowledge to help on the race course the following day, when each boat competes against each other in a fun regatta. The grand finale will be a party in the evening with prizes for the winners.
“Whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned sailor, come along and join some like-minded individuals and enjoy some time on the water. You can choose to pull on a few ropes or just sit back and enjoy the ride, it’s totally up to you. The event is about experiencing life on the water with other veterans affected by operations and having some fun, as well as maybe winning a trophy or two!”
To book your place, contact Turn to Starboard Operations manager Tamsin Mulcahy on 01326 314262 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.