Bristol Pilot Cutters Week
17th – 26th June 2013
16th June 2013 will see two replica Bristol Pilot Cutters sail into St Peter Port for the fourth consecutive year, thanks to the continued support of the Set Sail Trust and local businesses. The 60ft wooden hulled classic ships will sail off Guernsey all week, taking over 300 school children and under privileged groups out on the water.
During the day the Amelie Rose and the Merlin will be kept busy with over 35 groups coming on board and in the evening eight Corporate Ambassadors will race against each other in the Bristol Cutters Evening Challenge. It is their generous support that helps the Set Sail Trust continue this annual event and for the first time they will be joined by a group from Government House, led by His Excellency the Lieutenant- Governor, Air Marshal Peter Walker.
The primary aim of the Set Sail Trust is to make maritime-based activities accessible to a wider audience as well as teaching the community more about maritime history. The Bristol Pilot Cutters were traditionally used to guide merchant ships through the treacherous Bristol Channel and their reputation for speed and efficiency in difficult waters is well deserved. As well as bringing history alive, the sailing builds confidence and helps to teach children boating skills such as rigging the sails, navigation basics and how the tides behave. Along the way there is fun, excitement and of course plenty of fresh air and exercise.
Children from a number of the Bailiwick’s primary schools (years five and six) have been invited to set sail on the two Bristol Pilot Cutters. Pupils from Vauvert, Haute Capelles, Le Rondin, Le Murier, St Andrews, St Anne’s will all take part. Other groups to benefit include: The Link Centre, The Sports Commission, St Martin’s Cub Scouts, the Adult Mental Health group and Wigwam Special Needs. As Caroline Wilkes Green from the Link Centre explains: ‘The experience they gain from being aboard the boats helps children to develop confidence. Pupils love the hands-on nature of helping to sail these historic ships and it’s brilliant to see the smiles on their faces when we come back ashore.’
This year the Merlin will stay on for an additional three days, which has enabled even more groups to enjoy this exhilarating experience. ‘We’re excited to have the Bristol Pilot Cutters visit Guernsey again this year. It continues to be a popular event amongst children and special needs or under privileged groups and we thank the businesses who support the Set Sail Trust in funding the boats. Children and adults alike come back on shore windswept, happy and full of excitement about their adventure. It’s become a highly anticipated event in the Set Sail Trust’s calendar,’ states Michael Strachan, Managing Director of International Asset Monitor, one of the Set Sail Trust’s four trustees.
This year eight businesses have signed up to be Corporate Ambassadors, sponsoring a boat for the day and each enabling at least 20 children or special needs adults to enjoy the experience of sailing these historic ships. Mercator Trust, Ogier, International Asset Monitor, Ipes Guernsey, Trust Corporation, OCS, Price Waterhouse Cooper, RBS International have all been generous in their support.
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