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Pupils race with Team GB Olympic Sailing Team

For the last two years Associated British Ports have sponsored sailing lessons after school for a group of Year 5 children at Southampton Water Activity Centre (SWAC)

This time the call to Mr Harris was a different one. Could SWAC borrow a group of our children to take part in making a film!

Eight of the Team GB sailing team were coming to SWAC to make a promotional film about the work of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) in supporting youth development. They wanted our children because they had always been so positive about sailing and such good characters.

Of course Mr Harris said 'Yes' and so eight children from Year 5 and 6 went with Mr Butterworth and Mr West to SWAC to meet the medal winning team from Rio.

The children got prepared and gave initial interviews before the Team GB arrived. After meeting the Olympic stars, the children went out in pairs with one of the Olympiads. Not only did the children get to go in the boats, they were part of the sailing team and had their first lesson from the best in the world.

It was then time for a race. And of course it was competitive! Four Wayfarers competed around a course on the far side of the River Itchen.

The winners had a lucky start gybing out round the first mark to give them a lead. Another gold medal for Saskia Clark and her team!

And yes, the children did get to touch and wear an actual Olympic Gold Medal, Fresh back from the 2016 Olympics!

Before they went out the children had been quiet and a little apprehensive, on returning to shore they were buzzing and did not want to come in. They had enjoyed the most fantastic afternoon's sailing.

It was time for more interviews and a chance to relax with the Olympic Team and collect autographs.

Final group photographs, then back to school. What an experience.

Thank you to SWAC, the RYA and the members of Team GB for this memorable experience.