Mount Kelly have partnered with Sailing Tectona, the Plymouth-based sail-training Community Interest Company, to take ownership of a 56-foot cutter called Olga.
Olga is one of the most significant boats on the National Historic Ships Register. Built in Porthleven, Cornwall, in 1909, she was named after the daughter of her first owner, Henry Edmunds.
She has none of the winches, rolling-reefing sails, powered windlasses or other technology that one would find on a modern sailing yacht. In order to sail her, everyone needs to pull on the same end of the rope.
Mount Kelly believe she is the ideal environment in which to develop the skills and qualities that lie at the heart of their ethos – teamwork, leadership, resilience, tolerance, self-confidence and courage.
But it will not be just Mount Kelly’s pupils that will get the opportunity to sail Olga. As part of their growing relationship with Tavistock College, their pupils will also be able to join and form crews.
Some of the trips planned including sailing to the Channel Islands, the Scilly Isles and Bristol.
Pupils will also get involved in the boat’s maintenance and have the chance to achieve nationally-recognised sailing qualifications while crewing Olga, including the RYA Competent Crew, Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper Awards.
The college also hope to enter Olga in the Tall Ships Race, which brings together young people from all over the world.
Mount Kelly was founded by an admiral in 1877 for ‘the sons of naval officers and other gentlemen’, and so the college feel it entirely appropriate to be adding offshore sailing to their extra-curricular programme.