A group of over-50s is meeting every Wednesday to enjoy sailing together at Roadford Lake Outdoor + Active Centre.  
Calling themselves the Ancient Mariners, the sailors - most of whom don't have their own boats or belong to a sailing club - enjoy not only the dinghies and facilities, but also the structure and challenges that tuition from staff at the centre brings to their sessions.

In poor weather, the group takes part in sailing theory sessions if sailing isn't an option, and some members are working towards RYA qualifications.

Gareth Maggs, who helps with the tuition at Roadford, reports that the group helps to keep the centre alive during the off-season months: "The Ancient Mariners' group is one of the reasons the centre can remain open on Wednesday throughout the winter - which means other people can use the facilities too."

Colin Catchpole, from Liskeard said: "I really enjoy the instruction and camaraderie. It's all year round sailing, and I don't want to be just a fair weather sailor."

Fred Mead, from Lifton added: "I first sailed when I was 50 on a course in North London. Now I'm retired, I wanted to try again and have been coming for four years."

Alan Ward, from Woolacott Moor is another keen member of the group: "The tuition is excellent and makes it more interesting. I sail whatever the weather."

Kathie Applebee from Bere Alston is delighted that it's a mixed group: "The over 50s club has been great, especially as there are so many pleasant and helpful men willing to help me haul my dinghy out of the water! As a complete beginner in her sixties, I am finding the tuition really helpful and the races at the end of most sessions are great fun - especially when I don't always come last. And the coffee get-together soon afterwards is both friendly and useful. I would highly recommend it to anyone who either sails or is wondering whether to try."

The session starts at 10am sharp, and everyone is off the water and packed down for midday. Many members bring a packed lunch and eat together before heading off home.

Anyone who wants to get involved, whether a complete beginner or a more experienced sailor, just needs to turn up on a Wednesday morning (call Sarah in reception on 01409 211507 for more information, or to check conditions on blustery days).

Alternatively, find out more at www.swlakestrust.org.uk/leisure-activities/watersports/roadford-lake or email Sarah on roadfordoa@swlakestrust.org.uk