Force 4 Sailing School
Since dreaming up the concept of Force 4 Sailing Amanda and I have always looked at ways we could enhance our product and grow it in appropriate and complimentary ways and one of the questions we always receive from our guests is where can I to learn to sail? This coincided with an idea/dream that had been bubbling away below the surface for both of us. Being qualified RYA Sail Training Instructors with decades of experience we both had a hankering to do more teaching but the question was, why go and work for someone else’s sailing school? Why not open our own school right here on the Costa Tropical?
Yachtmaster® Instructor (YMI)
We pondered this question for the first year and kept coming back to the same problem. Neither one of us was a Yachtmaster® Instructor and you need at least one to have an RYA recommended training centre. I had been qualified as a YMI a few years previously but having left the industry to lead a normal life had foolishly let this hard won qualification lapse and only recently re-qualified as a Cruising Instructor but Amanda’s CI qualification was due for re-validation soon…
We decided to send Amanda on a YMI course and I have to admit I felt really envious (not) as I dropped her off at a dark, dismal and very wet marina in Suffolk on a cold November evening to join the other candidates on what would be a very challenging week on the water. “Love you, good luck” I called through the small space I’d cracked open above the window to stop the downpour soaking the inside of the pleasantly warm car and as I watched Amanda heft her sailing gear and trudge into the night I felt only mildly guilty as I put the car in gear and headed off in search of a warm welcome in the nearest pub.
A week later I received the What’sApp to say she’d passed with flying colours so the YMI problem was solved.
Next we had to start the training centre application process and get through the rigorous RYA Inspection that was booked for October of that year. This consisted of a thorough inspection of the yacht as well as all documentation which has to be of a particular standard before recognition is granted. We spent the weeks and months leading up to October creating, checking and double checking documents as well as checking and double checking every piece of equipment we carry to ensure that everything was up to scratch.
We didn’t pass but we passed
On the appointed day we had a fantastic inspection but we didn’t pass due to one tiny piece of equipment that should have been on-board. Lee, our examiner, told us not to worry, once we could evidence that we had it he would recommend that we achieve a pass. Sure enough two weeks later we had confirmation that we were now an RYA Recognised Sailing School.
Force 4 Sailing, who else?
We are now in our third year of sailing charters and we are absolutely loving our life out here. It hasn’t always been plain sailing (pardon the pun) but it’s been interesting, challenging and very rewarding. We still get asked the question where can I learn to sail but now there’s no dilemma there… “Force 4 Sailing, where else?”
The big dilemma I have these days is whether I should salute Amanda when she steps on-board as technically she now outranks me.