Marine firms rally together to inspire sailors of tomorrow

Young people together

Dozens of young people got to experience the thrill of sailing yesterday (September 18) thanks to a unique partnership between marine businesses.

A group of companies came together to lay on a fleet of Sunsail Match First 40s so youngsters from Southampton could get out on the water during Southampton Boat Show.

The initiative, led by the show’s Title Sponsor, saw teams of young people try the sport for the first time and, for many, it sparked a new passion.

Sisters Laura (14) and Sara (15) said they would like to try sailing again after getting a taster with The Community Cup. Laura said: “We’ve never done it before but it was a great activity to take part in.” Sara added: “It’s always good to try something you’ve never experienced before.”

The project was made possible by a team of marine businesses, which clubbed together to fund the ‘Community Cup’ sailing day as part of Regatta. They were: Sunsail, Dean & Reddyhoff and leading partner,

Richard W. Roberts, CEO and founder of, said: “It was such a joy to see the excitement on the faces of the young people as they sailed and learned new skills. Getting people out onto the water really is a mission close to our hearts at We have some of the best waters for racing right on our doorstep here in Southampton and it’s such a shame that so many people haven’t had a chance to get out on it. We’re thrilled that, working alongside our colleagues in the industry, we’ve helped to give young people a chance to experience it.”

Simon Boulding, Sunsail’s Events Director, said: “Sailing has the power to teach young people about such a broad range of subjects and skills, from engineering and science to teamwork and perseverance.  It was an absolute pleasure to welcome the young people onto our fleet of Sunsail Match First 40s.”

Rachel Hibberd, Director of Dean & Reddyhoff, added: “What was great about the Community Cup – not least being able to help young people try sailing – was being able to show the pupils around the Southampton Boat Show and open their eyes to just how many career opportunities there are in the marine industry. As a company that supports local employment, it’s important to us to inspire the next generation to take part in boating.”

Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, added: “We’re thrilled to see creating opportunities for young people to get out on the water. We are running several on the water activities inside Southampton Boat Show so we’re excited that there is even more going on outside the Show gates.”

As well as trying sailing, the young people were treated to a VIP tour of Southampton Boat Show and got the chance to meet Geoff Holt MBE as he presented their awards.

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