Watersports students from Falmouth Marine School spent two days putting their sailing and windsurfing skills to the test at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games venue on the Isle of Portland, Dorset.
The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) was chosen as the venue for the sailing competition at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.
WPNSA has a purpose build test centre to enable it clients to test and compare the latest designs in windsurf boards in favourable conditions. The Academy also provides direct access to Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay which have been credited as some of the best sailing waters in the World.
The first day was spent sailing with the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre, this gave the students the opportunity to get afloat on the sea in a safe and enclosed environment. They were faced with strong winds for the sailing session and managed to keep their boats upright the majority of the session!
The Official Test Centre provided the windsurfing lessons and equipment on the second day of the trip. Lighter winds provided an excellent opportunity for the students to refine their skills learnt the previous week on their instructor course, as well as learning new light wind freestyle moves.
Matt Hawker, a 1st year student said “it was a great trip, it was fun to sail new boats and windsurf somewhere new!”
A unique partnership between one of Cornwall’s leading outdoor providers, South West Lakes and Falmouth Marine School will enabled watersports students to be directly employable by the industry.
The practical elements of the Watersports Instructor Diploma will be delivered at Stithian’s Lake Activity Centre, starting this September.
The centre delivers activities to the wider community, school groups and has an active membership base for clubs.
Activity Centre manager, Matt Loughlin commented: “We are extremely excited about this partnership. We will train first classed instructors that can work for us and other centres in the South West.”
“We will impart our experience and use the commercial centre to ensure that the students are customer focused and have developed their work ready skills before they even complete their course.”
The programme of study will be delivered over a two year period. Learners will complete a level 2 diploma in year one, allowing them build on their practical skills before progressing onto the Level 3 Extended Diploma in year two.
English & Maths qualifications will be delivered at Falmouth Marine School, along with pastoral care and access to student services.
Programme Manager, Hannah Mason said: “Learners will benefit for emersion in a real life working centre, gaining practical and technical skills that will set them up for working in the industry.
“The partnership can facilitate direct employment across the county with South West Lake sites based at Stithians, Wimbleball, Roadford, Tamar, and Siblyback lakes.
“Through the collaboration we can also offer internationally recognised qualifications at a hugely reduced and affordably price.”
Returning second year learners and new recruits spent the day at South West Lakes meeting the team and trying out some watersports on the lake.
Demi Fuller, 17, previously from Penryn College has completed her first year and will be progressing onto the level 3 diploma. She said: “The facilities are really good, especially the hot showers and constant access to the water. Using the coast last term was good but you could only do one activity in a day and had a bit of a trek with the kit. Today we have done windsurfing, Stand Up Paddleboarding and Kayaking.”
Callum Vivian aged 16, is super keen and will be travelling from looe each day for the course. He said: “I can’t wait to start, the industry is all around you, so I will get a real feel for what it is like working as a watersports instructor and can start work as soon as I have my instructor qualifications.