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Navigating the Norfolk Broads

Congratulations to the 12 pupils who passed their Gold Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Sailing Assessed Expedition at the beginning of September. 

They set sail on the Norfolk Broads in heritage boats - no engines, no electricity; just wood, rope and canvas. The Gold sailors spent 4 days braving the elements, testing out their culinary skills and honing the yachting techniques they had developed in their DofE training.

There were challenges aplenty, and even those with many years of dinghy experience found it intensely challenging to navigate a heavy wooden gaff-rigged boat upwind in those narrow channels. The trees and windmills on the riverbanks cause unexpected wind shadows making life even trickier just when you need to tack.

Nevertheless, teamwork and good humour prevailed and the sailors successfully completed the expedition, having also relished the freedom to choose where to sail, what to cook and when to get up.

Head of Sailing, Mr Nick Neve said, “Each pupil involved demonstrated a fantastic determination and work ethic, working exceptionally well both individually and as a team throughout their time on the water.”

The next D of E sailing expedition will see 9 Gold level pupils completing the “RYA Start Yachting” course in the Solent this October half term, as an introduction to keelboat sailing.

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