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Mosslands take on the Challenger!

During the half term break a 13 strong amateur Mosslands crew set sail on board a Tall Ships Challenger yacht around the South Coast

Challenger 4During the half term break one police officer, 3 Mosslands staff and 9 students embarked on a 7 day voyage around the South British coast on board a Tall Ships Challenger yacht.

The Challenger Yachts are race yachts, designed for racing around the world in the opposite direction. They are now owned by the Tall Ships Youth trust, a charity dedicated to the personal development of young people from the ages of 12 to 25 through the crewing of its vessels. We would be sailing in Challenger 4.

Working on boardOur 14 strong amateur crew was led by three other experienced personnel, Skipper, Mat; First Mate, Diane; and Watch Leader, Brian. After introducing ourselves it became apparent that a lot of us did not know each other. We found that our first challenge was remembering everybody's name!

After safety checks and a tour of the vessel we set off under motor out into the English Channel. That is when our training began, and over the next 7 days we were intensely drilled, putting up sails, tying knots, winching, stowing sails, running and jamming lines, steering, spiking the reefs, setting out and removing fenders and much more! We took turns at cooking, cleaning and maintaining the ship on a daily basis as well as making countless cups of tea! We spent time learning the rules of sailing such as, which side to pass another boat on, port or starboard, what the various lights on a boat are and fire safety.

Rough Sea'sHighlights of the trip included crashing the ship through the high waves of The Races. It was a fantastic experience which had us all buzzing with adrenaline afterwards! Jake's birthday on board at anchor was another highlight, allowing us to enjoy some time wishing him a happy birthday, eat some cake and finally relax reading some magazines! The constant ongoing barrage of boat banter was a great accompaniment to the trip! The laughing never stopped!

Working on baordIt must be mentioned that all the boys worked really hard on the trip. The Mosslands School is very pleased to mention that they all passed their competent crew certification. Well done!

The staff would like to thank skipper Matt for his great leadership of everyone on-board. Thanks to Diane for her clear instructions and patience. And thanks to Brian for helping us get the main sail stowed. "Who do we love?" - "Brian!!!"

This was an amazing experience for staff and students a like. Long may it continue!!!

ClimbingThe crewUnder sail


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