The Chesil Trust, which oversees the ‘Rod Shipley Sail for a Fiver’ Scheme is very pleased to announce that a further donation from Mrs Elma Shipley in memory of her husband Rod who died in 2012 has helped provide the opportunity for the new ‘Rod Shipley Windsurf for a Fiver’ scheme. The programme will allow Year 8 schoolchildren to try windsurfing for just five pounds.
Windsurfing, for many, is the bright, vibrant and accessible alternative to dinghy sailing, finding particular favour with those that thrive on being challenged. The sport is extremely popular in the Weymouth and Portland area, with people travelling from far afield to come and enjoy it on the borough’s shores. Portland is well established as one of the best spots in Europe for windsurfing, being accessible in any tide state, with a safe sandbar along the length of the causeway and boasting the best wind statistics along the south coast. Small wonder it plays host to the longest running windsurfing event in the world – Weymouth Speed Week, and showed the sport off so colourfully during the 2012 Olympic Games. Add to that world-class wave sailing in Kimmeridge and Ringstead, and the coastal bump-and-jump at Overcombe and it’s clear how special this area really is for the sport.
Di Ludlow, Chair of the Chesil Trust said “The ‘Rod Shipley Windsurf for a Fiver’ Scheme will help introduce hundreds of local children aged 12-14 to windsurf, going someway to demonstrate just what a wonderful water-sports venue they have on their doorstep. The Trust will work with the WPNSA windsurfing partner the Official Test Centre (OTC) to provide the tuition. She added that Elma Shipley was inspired by the response to the Sail for a Fiver scheme and was pleased to be able use the Rod Shipley Memorial Fund to do something for slightly older children.”
On receiving news of the scheme, the OTC’s Director Tris Best said, “It is fantastic that windsurfing has been included in the scheme, enabling local children to try dinghy sailing’s colourful cousin and see if it is for them. Since opening in 2010 the OTC has worked tirelessly to make the sport more accessible to the local community and with the support from the Rod Shipley Memorial Fund, this vision can become more nurtured and concentrated.”