A luxury racing yacht named Margarita will become a floating classroom for year 9 and 10 students determined sail through life’s challenges.
The students from the Nelson Bay campus of Alesco senior college will not only learn to pilot the vessel they will become dependable team players.
“It’s a communication and cooperation based program,” Peter Bakewell from Lake Macquarie Sailing Charters said.
“The program really brings these kids together in preparation for their school, and life after school.”
Mr Bakewell and his offsider Brian Allen will sail into Soldiers Point Marina, which has provided a free berth, in the coming days.
The course, also supported by Hunter Youth 20/20, will run from March 19 to 29.
“Alesco is about building relationships and this makes us more successful,” Alesco Nelson Bay campus director John Hodgson said.
“The idea with sailing is to bring a lot of young people together, all with various backgrounds, to focus on team building."
Port Stephens Yacht Club has also chosen to sponsor the lessons.
“It’s all about team work, sailing a yacht,” club captain Clive Jones said.
“There’s team work in all sports but if you ‘drop the ball’ in sailing it can be quite dangerous, especially if one of the crew doesn’t pull their weight at the right time.
“But if you can get through a day – especially in heavy conditions – it is very rewarding.”
Mr Bakewell said he had helped coordinate these sailing events with students for the past 12 years.
“It positively affects all the kids who finish the program,” he said.
“They’re being brought into a sport that they might not get access to otherwise.
“It has far reaching benefits, particularly for those who want to pursue a career in marine life.”