We've been making plans with our corporate partner Dream Yacht Charter since our charity partnership was announced last year and we are very proud to announce that Dream Yacht Charter have named their latest addition to the UK fleet Oarsome Dream, in our honour!
We were so happy that Oarsome Chance Patron and record-setting solo sailor Alex Thomson was able to join us at Haslar Marina to carry out the Naming Ceremony joined by Joe, one of OC's very own apprentices, who had helped to commission the boat ready for the launch.
Here's a gallery with all pictures of Joe and Luke working on Oarsome Dream as well as pics from the Naming Ceremony itslef: View Gallery
On the day, Alex said "I’m delighted to be here today to officially name Oarsome Dream. Oarsome Chance has had such a positive impact on so many young people and, by partnering with the organisation, Dream Yacht Charter is now a part of that process, which is great to see.
“Oarsome Chance is not only about improving the lives and prospects of young people; it’s also about contributing to the growth of the marine sector in the UK and providing invaluable opportunities for young people to gain access into the industry. If opportunities such as this can spark interest in even a handful of young people, then I think that’s an incredibly positive step forward.”
The Dufour 460 Grand Large yacht arrived in Port Hamble on 30 January and Oarsome Chance apprentices Joe Swindale (17) and Luke Symonds (16) worked alongside a specialist team who shared their skills and expertise with the two teens who have their sights set on a career in the marine industry.
Joe said “I’ve been involved in the whole process of getting this new boat prepared over the last week doing everything from sanding it down, anti-fouling, loading on safety kit and watching it being lifted into the water and the mast being stepped. It’s great to get this hands-on experience working with such an experienced team – so much better than learning from a book or a video.”
John Gillard, our Principal, joined Alex and Joe on the boat for the ceremony - he said “This is a fabulous day for everyone at Oarsome Chance with our Patron Alex Thomson naming this stunning new yacht Oarsome Dream. By involving our young apprentices in the commissioning process for the latest addition to their fleet, Andy and his team at Dream Yacht Charter have created a project that sums up what Oarsome Chance is all about. We are united in our commitment to create meaningful opportunities for young people to widen their horizons and boost their employment prospects.”
Andy Byham, UK Director of Dream Yacht Charter, Alex Thomson and John Gillard has all been apprentices together and in inspiring speeches at the ceremony they shared how their apprenticeships had helped each of them to find a maritime career in which they had all thrived - this is at the heart of their desire to help the young people coming through the Oarsome Chance programmes.
Andy said “I’m delighted to show our ongoing commitment to supporting Oarsome Chance through naming the newest vessel in our UK fleet Oarsome Dream, permanently linking our two organisations. It’s been great to have the students working with us on fitting out the boat, seeing them gain a genuine hands-on experience, learning and practicing skills that will stand them in good stead as they move forward. I’m a strong supporter of apprenticeship schemes having taken a similar route into the marine industry myself. We have lots of exciting plans in store for the coming year and are very excited to be working closely with Oarsome Chance.”
Dream Yacht Charter is the world’s leading charter company offering a wider range of destinations and boats than any other operator, with over 1,000 boats in more than 50 destinations worldwide from the UK to the Caribbean, Pacific and Mediterranean. The new Dufour 460GL will join the UK fleet, based in Port Hamble, Hampshire where it will be available for corporate events and bareboat charters allowing experienced sailors to explore the cruising grounds of the south coast.
We'd like to thank Dream Yacht Charter for all of their support for Oarsome Chance, not least for their brilliant performance in our recent fundraising Karting event!
Watch this space for more exciting plans for Oarsome Chance and Dream Yacht Charter over the coming year.