On an uncharacteristically rainy and grey January evening aboard Jus’ Sail’s Carriacou Sloop Good Expectation at Rodney Bay Marina, the students, instructors and mentors of the Jus’ Sail 2013 youth sailing program were joined by some of the program’s key financial supporters to celebrate the graduation of students from the 2013 Jus’ Sail program.
The weather did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the gathering, so as the rain cleared, the barbeque was lit and the drinks flowed, three graduating students – O’Brian Forde, Vestus Severin and Mikhail St Clare – were awarded their Jus’ Sail Certificates after successfully completing the syllabus set by RYA Offshore Yachtmaster James Crockett and fulfilling an extended period of work experience with IGY Rodney Bay Marina.
In addition, the students also received their First Aid and CPR certification from St John’s Ambulance and their Swim to Survive Certificate from The St Lucia Lifesaving Association, the training for which was delivered by Germaine Anthony of the SLLA who was also in attendance. These two additional certificates formed an integral part of the Jus’ Sail program to ensure a well-rounded and thorough training regime.
To further inspire them to continue to explore sailing opportunities across the region, the graduates also received copies of Chris Doyle’s Windward Islands
and Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Guides, kindly donated by longstanding St Lucia Yacht Club member Ted Bull.
Guests at the graduation celebration included IGY’s Assistant General Manager Sean Devaux and Marketing Manager Alana Mathurin; returning Jus’ Sail guests and key fundraisers Kathy and Danny Duke, Canadians who are regular visitors to St Lucia; and the winners of the auction for a week long yacht charter from The Moorings, Canadian couple Bob and Liz Ng-A-Fook.
Jus’ Sail owners, James and Pepsi Crockett, congratulated the graduates on making it through the program, and most importantly, for helping Jus’ Sail achieve the program’s main goal of ensuring its graduates secured employment within the marine sector: Vestus Severin is now working for IGY in the Rodney Bay Boatyard, Mikhail St Clare works for The Moorings / Sunsail as Customer Service Representative and O’Brian Forde is deckhand and First Mate in training aboard Jus’ Sail’s Good Expectation.
An exciting announcement was also made at the event: Jus’ Sail has recently been accredited as an official Sail Training Centre with International Yacht Training Worldwide (IYTworld.com), the world leaders in internationally recognised sailing certification, endorsed by the gold standard industry body, the UK’s MCA. This important development heralds a new era of sailing opportunities for St Lucia’s youth, who can now gain access to the sailing industry through internationally recognised certification delivered right here in St Lucia at affordable prices or at no cost depending on the level of funding Jus’ Sail can achieve to support their activities.
The courses on offer with Jus’ Sail to participants in the summer of 2014 will include – International Competent Crew, Flotilla Skipper, Bareboat Skipper, Small Powerboat/RIB Master and VHF Operator certification. All the courses offer a springboard to further industry career paths and other professional certifications and have been made available to the present crop of graduates to continue their personal and professional development.
In other news Jus’ Sail was also the recent recipient of a second vessel, the J30 Jaystar, which broke its mooring in Barbados in November 2013 and drifted to St Lucia, where it was collected by the coastguard and brought into the Rodney Bay Marina.
The vessel’s owner Ronald Hunt after over 20 years racing Jaystar across the region, decided he did not want her back and sought a good home for her in St Lucia. When someone recommended Jus’ Sail, the paperwork was handed over and the local charter company now has a second vessel that is ideal for sail training.
The first goal for Jaystar, funding permitting, is a significant refit in the Rodney Bay Ship Yard, undertaken with the 2014 cohort of students so that they
can get first-hand experience of fiberglassing, woodwork, engine, electric and rigging repairs and maintenance.