July 19, 2017

Students ready to take on The Rolex Fastnet 2017 – Scaramouche

They have had tea with HRH Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace, talked at some of the most prestigious Yacht Club’s across the country to raise money, they have sailed with their sailing hero Lawrie Smith and covered in excess of 1500 offshore sailing miles each. Now eight students from Greig City Academy (GCA) along with teachers Jon Holt and Paul Letford and their training skippers Simon Weeks and David Pitchard, are ready to take on their toughest challenge yet: the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017.

On Sunday 6th August, just over two years after purchasing Yacht Scaramouche, Camilo Orobio, Montel Fagan-Jordan (Team Captain), Espoir Mazambi, Shabazz Patterson, Adrian Samuel-Maragh, Karim Ming, Nardar Soltan and Ionnis Stamate, all students from Greig City Academy in Haringey will set off on the 603 nautical miles iconic race, with the aim to be the first student led team to compete in the race.Fastnet Crew: Left-Right Camilo Orobio, Montel Fagan Jordan, Espoir Mazambi, Shabazz Patterson, Adrian Samuel-Maragh

“We have had some fantastic support from the industry,” comments Jon Holt, Head of Outdoor Education at GCA. “Ocean Yacht Systems have provided up with new standing rigging and fittings, North Sails has supplied a new genoa and mainsail. Spinlock have provided us with new lifejackets and lifelines and service these for us, English Braids and Marlow Ropes have supplied our sheets on board. Without this support the project would not have got as far as it has, as safety and doing this properly is very much as at the forefront of this project.”
The project began back in 2013 when GCA set up a school sailing club to allow inner-city London students access to the sport of sailing. To put things into perspective, 73.1% of students who attend GCA are deemed disadvantaged, and 62.4% of students have English as an additional language. Over the last three years nearly 1,000 students have taken to the water for the first time. Today GCA Sailing has bases in King George V Reservoir in London with a fleet of 6 dinghies and Poole Harbour, Dorset with the McGregor 22, and Intro 22 as well as the former Admirals Cup racing yacht Scaramouche.

The students’ passion for sailing has grown and their ambitions for sailing have increased. “I have never learnt so much so quickly. One year ago was the first time I sailed. Today, our team won our first race. Our hard work paid off and I love it!” Commented Shabazz, crewmember on board Scaramouche and a student at GCA on winning their first race, the ASTO Small Ships race back in 2016.

“If you are ever fortunate enough to have five minutes with the crew of Scaramouche, determination and crew work are two core traits that come across. Having been told that they could not enter a regatta because they were not a fee-paying school has not deterred them, they found a race they could enter, and they went and won it!” Comments Lawrie Smith a project advisor and supporter. “Project Scaramouche breaks new ground and is creating a new model for youth sailing.”

Earlier in 2017, was the next gamechanger for the project as Pioneering Underwriters came on board. “At GCA we want to see our students develop academically as well as help them to achieve their personal goals.” Comments Paul Sutton, Principal at GCA. “Darren Doherty and his team at Pioneering Underwriters are offering the project so much more than financial support, through supporting our students within the classroom. We are proud to have their livery on Scaramouche for the Fastnet 2017.”

Follow their story: #ProjectScaramouche.

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