The Classic Young Sailors Foundation financially supported a crew of young students from a school in Wolverhampton aboard the replica Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter ‘Pegasus’ competing in the 2019 Classic Channel Regatta. The voyage was a great success and here is some of the very positive feedback in the school’s End of Voyage Report:

“Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Academy is situated in an area of social and economic disadvantage in Wolverhampton. The percentage of students who are supported through pupil premium and are entitled to free school meals is well above average. The majority of the group of students selected to be involved in the Classic Channel Regatta fall into this category.”

As this was no ordinary 5-day sailing experience, the expectations and experiences they encountered were far in excess of their initial ideas.”

The Classic Channel Regatta itinerary and information on the website confirmed the uniqueness of the opportunity that was on offer; the voyage was going to be an experience that would stay in the memories of all involved well into adult life. It was an exciting thought that our students would be part of events and activities such as evening supper parties, racing at a number of locations along the coast of England and France and sailing across the channel and meeting people from a variety of countries in Europe but to name a few.”

Despite all discussing the itinerary before leaving for the experience, and the expectations from their previous experiences; nothing truly prepared them for the full-on nature of the Regatta or the reception from other crews and observers. It was only as we were part of the first race start that the students could see the nature of the event in both intensity and number of ships involved… All expectations were blown out of the water and only when back at school weeks after their return, when talking to each other and their friends about the experience are they fully realising all the opportunities they gained through being asked to take part in the Regatta.”

Most lasting memory: “…the moment that the students most clearly remember is the arrival and parade upon entry to Paimpol harbour. In particular the aspects of being the second ship in the parade, the number of onlookers in the harbour and the reception of the musicians. Mind blowing for most and this helped them realise the size and importance of the event. “

All in all, we would all like to thank you for the opportunity you afforded our community. The families have given positive feedback as to the response and attitude of their children following the regatta, which just reinforces the view of the staff that the benefits of experiences such as this that the students receive will be seen in the years to come and are as such truly immeasurable. “