Paignton Sailing Club played host to the first on-water training session of the South West Tera Academy’s winter schedule at the end of January.

Over thirty children aged between 9 and 14 took to the water in single handed Tera and Topper dinghies coached by a team of six RYA coaches including RS Tera world champion Will Taylor.

Now in its second year, the South West Tera Academy community group has been awarded significant funding from the Andrew Simpson Foundation. 

The RYA has also thrown its support behind the project with invaluable advice from regional representatives, Duncan West and Peter Muskett. The RYA has also provided four days of funding towards coaching costs for the Squad, which has minimised the costs to each sailor.

With over 30 boats sailing, half of them provided by Teign Corinthian Yacht Club and Royal Dart Yacht Club, it has been possible to make sailing accessible to all.

Tim Anderton of the Andrew Simpson Foundation and lead coach for the South West Tera Academy, said: “The fact that the children have used predominantly club-owned boats during the training emphasises the 'getting children on the water attitude' the South West Tera Academy has, which is an attitude we as a sailing charity, are very keen to support.”

Ben Miles a member of Teign Corinthian Yacht Club and one of the founders of the South West Tera Academy said: “It's great to see so many enthusiastic youngsters from so many sailing clubs out on the water.  None of this would be possible without the help and support from our local clubs, especially Teign Corinthian Yacht Club, Paignton Sailing Club and Royal Dart Sailing Club who have really got behind this project with both practical and financial support.”

The South West Tera Academy's approach of bringing top-class coaching talent to the South West has already paid dividends with the great success of two of the Academy's youngsters, William James and Freddie Gilmore, who have both won places in the National Tera Squad.