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Pupils experience sailing skills with Norfolk Heritage Fleet Trust

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Sixty, Year 5 children from the school experienced sailing traditional boats first-hand over two days learning sailing skills including steering the tiller and tacking using the ropes on the mainsail and jib.

Miss Laura Richardson, Executive Deputy Head of St Mary’s Junior Academy said: “The children had the most wonderful experience. For the majority of children this was their first time on the Norfolk Broads.  They learnt so much about the boats provided by the Norfolk Heritage Fleet Trust, how to steer, what the sails are for and how they work.”

Pupil, Anaiya said: “It was fun when we learnt how to start sailing,” and Matthew said: “It was fun when we were tacking, this means going back and forth so that the wind fills the sails.”

Matthew said: “I found it interesting when we learnt about how to control the jib sheet with the ropes.”

After the sailing experience, the children spent some time completing a nautical quiz sheet.

Mrs Norris, Year 5 class teacher from St Mary’s Junior Academy said: “Thank you so much to the staff at Hunter’s Yard. We had the most wonderful trip today. It was such an engaging, exciting and memorable trip. For many this was their first time on a boat and their first visit to the Broads. They absolutely loved learning about the boat and how to sail. They engaged so well with the adults who skippered the boats – so keen to ask questions and to hear how things worked. Thank you so much to the adults who skippered for us – they were so polite and kind. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will absolutely remember this trip for many years to come. I will be telling all of my teacher friends about Hunter’s Yard! And I am also hoping to personally bring my family too. Thank you so much! We are incredibly grateful for the wonderful experience you gave us.”

Chairman of Hunter’s Yard, Neville Khambatta said: “It’s a real delight for our skippers to just go out sailing for the fun of it.  To watch the crew of young people simply having fun helping to sail their boat is a joy and a delight.  Hopefully, some of the children will go on to sail with the Norfolk Schools Sailing Association at Filby or return to Hunter’s Yard with their parents for a two-hour skippered sail.  Let’s hope this isn’t the only time they go sailing on the Broads.”

Vikki Walker from the Norfolk Heritage Fleet Trust said: “For most of us, it was watching the difference on the youngsters faces from before they went out sailing to when they returned.  Everyone seemed very excited, with beaming smiles and chattering about how great it was; even the teachers came back with beaming smiles.  That was to us was perfect, just the experience we were hoping to achieve for them!”

She added: “All our skippers have really enjoyed taking the children out and seeing how much fun they were having, each taking at turn on the helm, the main sheet and the jib sheet lines to sail the boat.   It’s been an absolute pleasure having St Mary’s children sailing with us and we hope their memories will last them a lifetime.”