AFLOAT: The last waltz for SailLaser Weymouth

AFLOAT: The last waltz for SailLaser Weymouth

By Laura Kitching

LAST CHANCE: SailLaser Weymouth are holding their last taster sessions

A TOTAL of 120 people have experienced the thrill of sailing for just £5 in the past month – and one final batch of taster sessions is on offer.

SailLaser Weymouth, the sailing school behind the renowned ‘Sail for a Fiver’ Olympic legacy scheme, opened its hugely discounted taster sessions to over 14s for the first time in October.

The sessions were made possible thanks to £6,000 of Sport England funding via Active Dorset and The Chesil Trust.

Over the past seven years, SailLaser Weymouth and The Chesil Trust have introduced thousands of primary school children to the sport at the world-class Weymouth and Port-land National Sailing Academy.

Now, adults and over-14s have had a chance to try dinghy sailing on Portland Harbour at the same £5 per person rate, and SailLaser staff have been thrilled with the response.

The last lot of sessions for people aged 14-years-and-over will take place next week.

SailLaser Weymouth centre manager Warren Surtees said: “The reaction to Sail for £5 14 years-plus has been great.

“We’re giving local Weymouth and Portland people a chance to try the sport for just £5.

“In the weeks since the launch, 120 people have sailed using the scheme with around 30 booking extra sailing sessions. The wind over the last few weeks has kept the team on their toes but nothing we couldn’t deal with.”

While many individuals were among those sailing for a fiver, several groups have also taken part, including students from Sir John Colfox School, Bridport and the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy.

Surtees added: “Many of the participants had never sailed before and the feedback for both SailLaser and sailing in generalhas been absolutely fantastic.

“Several people said they had watched a lot of sailing with the Olympics and Americas Cup and wanted to have a go themselves.”

After next week, SailLaser Weymouth staff will sadly be preparing to close the office at the Osprey Quay, Portland site for the last time.

LaserPerformance, the operator of SailLaser Centres, has made the decision to close its Weymouth office on December 1 as part of the company’s global restructuring strategy.

Staff will be taking boats off the water on weekend of November 16-17.

Surtees said there are currently five interested parties looking into taking over the role of sailing provider at the WPNSA.

To book a place on the final Sail for £5 sessions call 0845 337 3214 or send an email to info-weymouth@sail-laser.com

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