Sailing is a big part of the culture of Rock with the beautiful and sheltered waters of the Camel Estuary providing perfect conditions. The iconic Rock Sailing and Water Ski Club rises up from the waterfront in the heart of Rock and has become a well known landmark. For those visiting the area, coloured sails and ropes form a familiar backdrop. The estuary comes alive during the popular annual sailing events, most notably Camel Week.
Our name (referencing Cornwall’s geographic coordinates) reflects our love for, and dedication to, this most beautiful of regions. Sailing is particularly popular, with many of our houses set within walking distance of the Rock Sailing and Water Ski Club. Some of our guests even bring their boats on holiday with them, staying in our properties with direct access to the water.
We are excited to have the opportunity to work with the Camel Estuary Youth Sailing charity (CEYS). The primary goal of CEYS is to make sailing more accessible to local children. The sailing community is primarily made up of visitors and retired locals, and as residents of the Rock Road ourselves, we really identified with the goal to encourage children back into sailing.
CEYS provides local children with an extensive course of free professional Royal Yachting Association lessons, to the point that they become confident and qualified sailors. The charity regularly recruits 9-10-year-olds from local schools within a radius of Rock. Since CEYS was formed by a small group of Rock residents ten years ago, over 250 local children have benefited from the work CEYS has done to date. A further 40 children are expected to go through the programme each year.
CEYS works closely with Mark Stacey, who runs the Camel Sailing & Powerboat Centre in Rock. He gives up much of his time to support junior sailing, which enables the young sailors who graduate from CEYS to continue. CEYS provides a fleet of 15 dinghies free of charge for the children to use under supervision once they have completed their training. The Rock Sailing and Water Ski Club welcomes CEYS graduates as junior members, which has helped build a young resident dinghy-sailor base.
In the same year that CEYS celebrated its tenth anniversary, the charity was able to hold the first children’s sailing regatta. The aim of the regatta, apart from creating a fun day for the children, was to enable children to experience a competition environment. This will help them progress to local competitions such as Junior Camel Week and beyond. Latitude50 were happy to help make this happen by sponsoring the event and funding the support vessels, catering and t-shirts for the children.
Thirty children took part in the event, from local primary schools including St Minver, St Breock and Padstow. Despite rather challenging weather conditions (all good practice!), the children were able to take part in several races around a course in the CEYS Laser Pico boats. We were tasked with helping to record the placings which was easier said than done with coloured sails and ropes flying everywhere!
Mark’s father Peter was kind enough to take the Latitude50 team out on the committee boat so we could see the races up-close. It was fantastic to witness the talent of the children first-hand and to see them enjoying themselves. Not everyone managed to stay dry, which only added to the fun. The activity took place under the watchful eye of the sailing instructors who could quickly come to the children’s aid in the support vessels.
Following the races everyone headed over to the sailing club to warm up with a hot drink. Parents and children gathered for a prize giving. The prize for best boy was awarded to Joseph Harwood from St Breock School and best girl was awarded to Emily Bosley from St Minver School. St Minver school claimed the Carl Brenton Memorial trophy which was accepted by pupil William Kelly.
Following on from the success of this year’s regatta, CEYS are hoping for the event to become a yearly tradition. CEYS relies on the support of volunteers and donations. If you are interested in becoming involved with CEYS, find out more on their website.