Le Sailing Voyage
“Le Sailing Voyage” is a development programme for young people aged 13-15 from Boulogne and Shepway secondary schools, supported by Shepway District Council and Boulogne Sur Mer councils. It aims to use sailing and water sports as a vehicle to encourage cross border linguistic, cultural and team building exchanges. The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust made a grant towards the inaugural programme in 2013, and provided further funds for the second programme in 2015.
The programme mixes a number of weekend workshops, enabling novice sailors to literally “learn the ropes”, and including activities such as raft building, an introduction to sailing and first aid. It is designed to improve, self-esteem, self-confidence, open mindedness and team spirit. It leads to a five day residency on board the tall ship “Artemis”, visiting various harbours including Folkestone and Boulogne, and arriving in time to be one of the star attractions at the Boulogne Sea festival in July.
In 2015 sixty students from French and English schools took part, with many commenting that their language skills had improved significantly as a result, further remarking that it had been an “unforgettable experience…..teaches you a lot about sailing,……friendships, teamwork and self-confidence”.