A scheme giving young people the chance to learn how to sail is returning to Guernsey this year.
Pilot Cutters is a national initiative that was first brought to Guernsey in 2006 to give children in primary schools and youth groups an opportunity to embrace the island's nautical heritage and to learn some new skills.
It is a 10-day long scheme, running during June, so the children can spend some time exploring the ocean and learning how to sail these cutter boats. It will be returning this year thanks to the support of the Set Sail Trust and hopes to welcome more than 700 children aboard the sailing boats nationally this year.
The pilot cutter boats themselves are specially designed to ferry sailors to and from larger ships. They are small, fast and only need a few crew members to operate meaning they are perfect to train the next generation of sailors, while also teaching them the history of Guernsey’s waters.
In 2017 this scheme saw more than 600 children from 30 different schools and youth groups benefit nationwide with Guernsey proud to boast the largest sailing youth participation across the UK. Nick Beck, Skipper of the Pilot Cutters said, "We love coming over and taking youngsters out exploring the Bailiwick of Guernsey’s beautiful waters."
This year's week is possible thanks to the support of Altair, Appleby, Brooks MacDonald, Butterfield, Carey Olsen, IAM Advisory, Ravenscroft, RBSI and Rocq Capital. Andreas Tautscher, Chairman of the Trust’s Advisory Committee, was very grateful.
"We’re proud to be able to give young people the opportunity to get out on the water as it’s something they might not otherwise experience. Sailing is a big part of the island's heritage and taking part in such nautical activities is a hugely rewarding experience that can teach invaluable life skills."
Pictured: The children will be listing any wildlife they see for local records.
In addition to learning about the workings of the pilot cutters, the children will be taught about the impact of plastic pollution in our oceans. They'll also help local wildlife organisations by counting the number of animals they see from gulls to dolphins as well as putting their new knowledge into practice.
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