7th Wave’s fifth birthday today

Five years today since we opened the doors to 7th Wave for the first time and we are still here, going strong. There were some who thought that starting a sailing school at 54 degrees north was some-what fool hardy, maybe it is, but the past five years have all been wholly worthwhile.

With the help of family and friends e opened 7th Wave, bringing an RYA Training Centre to Port Erin. In June 2006 Jack the Dog joined the family after the loss of our puppy Pearly. Jack is much more suited to the nautical life and loves being on the boats, although he won’t get his feet wet!

At the end of the 2006 season Jon qualified as an RYA Powerboat Instructor and has delivered many, many powerboat courses since then.

In 2007 Jenni qualified as an RYA Shorebased Instructor and Jon as a VHF Assessor. We achieved RYA Shorebased recognition allowing us to offer RYA Dayskipper and Yachtmaster Theory courses.

Also in 2007 the ‘Pig’ joined our powerboat fleet and our team of Tom Howitt, James and Greg Kelly won the IOM Topper Challenge.

2008 was an exciting year: Jen and Jon got married on 3rd May, Sarah Butler represented 7th Wave at the RYA Honda Youth RIB Championship final in Southampton, Alex Sharpe and James and Greg Kelly won the Topper Challenge, 7th Wave received a Toursim Award from the IOM Government for the ‘Best Coastal Experience’.

The Manx Youth Sailing Squad was formed in 2008 and the team competed at the RS Tera Inland Championship at Draycote S.C. Greg Kelly won the first race and finished 3rd overall!

Lucy Gregg and Alex Sharpe represented 7th Wave at the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship final in Southampton in 2009. Alex, James and Greg won the Topper Challenge again! 7th Wave hosted the Queenie Festival’s ‘Sails and Tales’ event, over 100 children attended the storytelling evening on the beach in glorious sunshine.

The Manx Youth Sailing Squad travelled to the RS Tera National Championship at Dabchicks S.C. and won the National Team Champions Trophy. Squad members were also selected to join the GBR RS Tera racing squad and to attend the World Championship in 2010.

2010 saw the launch of our new Taz and Topaz fleet and ‘Betty’ the tractor. Ffinlo Wright and Matt Petts entered the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools (IAPS) national sailing regatta and finished in 4th place. Jon qualified as a RYA Advanced Powerboat Instructor. Ffinlo, Greg and Tony Pitt won the Topper Challenge once again!

The Manx Youth Sailing Squad sailed at the RS Tera World Championship in Carnac, Brittany and produced some outstanding results. James Kelly won the event become RS Tera World Champion and Hannah Howitt finished first girl! At the Inlands in October the team came home with the RS Tera Inland Team Trophy and Izzy Sharpe finished third overall.

By the end of 2010 we had trained over 160 powerboaters and have taught 60 adults and over 300 youngsters to sail, including two world champions!

Although it is still early in the 2011 season quite a lot of notable things have already happened: RYA CEO Sarah Treseder visited us in March on a tour of the RYA regions around the UK. “Small but perfectly formed” were her observations of 7th Wave.

7th Wave t-shirts and hoodies have are now for sale in the shop along with some great new designs from Chickens Rock Clothing.

Sailing received four nominations in the IOM Sports Awards: James Kelly – under 21 boy, Hannah Howitt – under 21 girl, Jenni Quillin – Coach and the Manx Youth Sailing Squad – Team of the Year. Izzy Sharpe, Hannah Howitt and James Kelly were each awarded Sports Aid Foundation support for 2011.

Just last week Ffinlo Wright (who has been sailing with us since 2006 when he was just five years old!) and Matthew Petts once again competed at the IAPS Regatta in Weymouth – they won the event scoring a first in every race!

And so today we are five! I wonder what adventures the next five years will bring?