At a naming ceremony at Gosport’s Haslar Marina Oarsome Chance Patron and record-setting solo sailor Alex Thomson named the latest addition to the Dream Yacht Charter UK fleet Oarsome Dream in honour of the company’s charity partner.
Oarsome Chance works with nine to 19-year-olds who are disengaged from mainstream education and at risk of exclusion, using a combination of water-based sport and vocational training to bring about positive change in young people’s lives. Since 2015 it has engaged with more than 1,800 participants. On a weekly basis, Oarsome Chance delivers its rowing and workshop activities to up to 100 young people who regularly attend their curricular and after-school programmes.
Alex said: “Oarsome Chance has had such a positive impact on so many young people and, by partnering with the organisation, Dream Yacht Charter is now a part of that process, which is great to see.
“Oarsome Chance is not only about improving the lives and prospects of young people; it is also about contributing to the growth of the marine sector in the UK and providing invaluable opportunities for young people to gain access into the industry. If opportunities such as this can spark interest in even a handful of young people, then I think that is an incredibly positive step forward.”
The Dufour 460 Grand Large yacht arrived in Port Hamble and Oarsome Chance apprentices Joe Swindale (17) and Luke Symonds (16) worked alongside a specialist team who shared their skills and expertise with the two teens who have their sights set on a career in the marine industry.
Joe said: “I have been involved in the whole process of getting this new boat prepared over the last week doing everything from sanding it down, anti-fouling, loading on safety kit and watching it being lifted into the water and the mast being stepped. It is great to get this hands-on experience working with such an experienced team – so much better than learning from a book or a video.”
Dream Yacht Charter has more than 1,000 boats in more than 50 destinations worldwide from the UK to the Caribbean, Pacific and Mediterranean. The new Dufour 460GL will join the UK fleet, based in Port Hamble, where it will be available for corporate events and bareboat charters allowing experienced sailors to explore the cruising grounds of the south coast.