WITHAM Sailing Club has become the first coastal club in the East Midlands to be approved to teach powerboating.
As an official RYA Powerboat Training Centre, Witham SC, based on the west bank of the River Witham, is now recognised to train people how to use powerboats, whether for recreational motor cruising, work purposes or race officiating, to the highest standards of safety and quality in the world.
Responsible for overseeing these global standards of excellence is former Boston High School student Rachel Andrew who, since January, has had the position of the Royal Yachting Association’s chief instructor motor cruising and power.
She says it was great to see her hometown club achieve the landmark feat.
Rachel said: “Powerboats does not mean powerboat racing.
“Some people may eventually go into competitive powerboating, but fundamentally what we are all about is making sure everyone who uses a motor-powered boat, for whatever reason, receives the same exceptional standards of teaching wherever they train in the world.
“To train good powerboat drivers we need to train good powerboat instructors who deliver world class training.
“It is these standards Witham SC has now achieved, which is great for the club and the region as the East Midlands now has a recognised training centre on the coast.”
As well as powerboating, Witham SC has also achieved recognised RYA Training Centre status to teach sailing, first aid and VHF/DSC radio courses over the past 12 months, something that will give the club even greater scope to encourage more people into the sport and keep developing their skills with Witham SC.
Paul Burton, Witham SC Rear Commodore, explained: “We’re based on the freshwater River Witham with around 25 miles of non-tidal river but we also have access to the tidal Haven and The Wash.
“As the only RYA Training Centre in the East Midlands with tidal access this presents a massive range of exciting opportunities for those who want to sail in calmer, inland surrounds or on the open sea.”
As the RYA’s Chief Instructor Motor Cruising and Power, Rachel is responsible for ensuring the RYA’s 1,200 recognised powerboat and motor cruising training centres across 44 countries are operating to the same high safety standards.
She also oversees 191 inland waterways centres and personal watercraft (PWC), such as Jet-Skis, plus a further PWC 100 centres in the Mediterranean onboard superyachts.
Visit www.withamsailingclub.co.uk for more details.