Sailing program broadens Eden students’ horizons

Since its inception in 1945, the port of Eden has played an important role in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, being the last safe port before entering Bass Strait

After a tough race in 1993, where the local community once again assisted those who retired into Eden, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia initiated a program in conjunction with Eden Marine High School for a group of students each year to attend a Learn to Sail program with its Youth Sailing Academy.

Eden has become a communications centre during the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in recent years, with the club sending officials here, who along with local Marine Rescue, monitor the progress of yachts along our coastline, providing assistance where necessary.

Eden is the destination for many retiring yachts, and EMHS would like to recognise the local community for its efforts in assisting boats and crews through what can be a difficult time. It is this generosity that fuels the program for our students, all of whom have been great ambassadors for the community.

The program has been running since 1994 with around 560 students from our district having enjoyed the hospitality of the club’s members, sleeping on yachts courtesy of East Sail at Ruschcutters Bay. The club provides 7m Elliott class yachts and high quality coaches for students, organises participation in twilight races, sailing as part of a crew, and most meals. Students are also treated to a meal at Phillips Foote Restaurant in The Rocks and a movie night, all thanks to club members, many of whom have experienced Eden hospitality first hand.

Past commodore and present secretary of Twofold Bay Yacht Club Robyn Malcolm, who works at the school, has also provided major support since the beginning of the program. Without her organisation and personal skills this program would not run smoothly, and along with her sailing experience has helped make the program a success.

The benefits may not be measured in the amount of ocean going competitive sailors this excursion produces, but in broadening students horizons whose employment pathways are often restricted by a slowing regional economy.

Thank you to all who contribute to giving our students such a wonderful experience.