Her Mum Sarah explains how they got involved in the Club, and what difference it has made to their family:

“We heard that the club was planning to start running the RYA OnBoard course and a local Mum was keen to make up the numbers so that the course ran, so Rose began sailing. She loved her time sailing in the club Oppies and we joined the Club and she did her first Junior Sailing week or Cadet Week that year, and every year since either as a participant, and in the last couple of years as an instructor.”

Since then, Rose’s sailing has continued to progress, and she quickly moved from sailing Optimists to Toppers, becoming involved in both Club racing, and, in 2016, the RYA East Zone Championships at Grafham Water, where she won a bronze medal for two years consecutively. Shortly after she was selected to join the RYA East Topper Zone Squad, taking part in both Zone and National events. After two years in this Squad she joined the Topper RYA Junior (National) Squad, and in 2018 was able to compete in the Topper World Championships in China – a fantastic adventure. 

She then progressed into the 420 Youth fleet with her Helm, Ellie Driver. Rose had wanted to crew and teaming up with Ellie, she soon learned the basics and the girls worked hard and well together, only 5 months later qualifying for the British Squad to go to the World Championships in Vilamoura Portugal. The team for the Junior Euros was smaller than the Worlds and the girls missed out on selection by just 2 points. Now aged 16, she has sailed this winter in the Sailing Juice Series and also gained her Race Coach Qualification. This means she is able to volunteer to coach the East Zone Topper Squad and she is looking forward to taking her Dinghy Instructor Course and continuing to sail the 420, hopefully this year making it to the Worlds and Junior Europeans.

Jane Ellison, from Snettisham Beach Sailing Club spoke of how OnBoard can get the whole family involved in Club life: “We have quite few sailors at the club that started via OnBoard. Most of our young instructors originally came into the club via OnBoard (or their older siblings did). Rose is a current example, who came to the club through OnBoard, and then her family joined - she has now trained as an Assistant Instructor, holds her Powerboat Level 2 and Level 2 Race Coach qualification and supports our OnBoard and junior sessions. Her younger brother also attended OnBoard sessions and sails at the club. Her mum did 6 weeks of ladies sailing and has also done her PB2 course to support club activity.”

Run by the RYA, OnBoard is a grass roots programme which introduces sailing and windsurfing to young people aged 8 to 18, through schools, youth groups and training centres. 

The low cost sessions are designed to promote equal access to sailing for young people from all social and economic backgrounds, whilst encouraging their character development.

Since 2005, OnBoard has introduced more than 900,000 children to sailing and windsurfing in the UK, converting some 70,000 of them into regular participants.

For more information about how to get involved in sailing visit www.rya.org.uk/go/onboard.