Lisa Rollin’s route into sailing

We are very lucky at NCSC to have a dedicated team of enthusiastic members who all selflessly give their time to instruct new sailors and then hopefully welcome them as members to the club. One route often ignored by those who have just learnt is to crew, you can learn allot from an experienced helm, many of the older instructors at the club used this route.

Back in June 2018, following an Adult Beginners Course, Nichola Willars, then Scorpion class captain along with her husband Jon, was passed the details of a group of students in the hope that she might be able to encourage some of them into competitive sailing.  

Nicola’s mind turned immediately to one desperate Scorpion helm Nick Orgles (who is also one of the instructors on many of our courses), who’d been left without a crew after his wife Sue, a popular member at the club had unfortunately been forced to retire from the sport due to a serious shoulder injury. Nick was introduced to Lisa Rollin, one of a number of students who’d gained their RYA levels 1 & 2 around that same time and following an initial spell out on the lake one sunny August afternoon and a few more practice sessions after that, Lisa was finally taking part in Sunday Main Series racing!  

Fast forward to 2021 and this now, not quite so novice crew finds herself at the helm of  a Volvo Open 70 Racing Yacht ‘Telefonica Black’ which finished 4th in the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race. Pictured here at her home berth in Gosport UK.   Lisa said “Never in my life could I imagine that I’d be able to enjoy an experience such as this, especially being so new to sailing, but the confidence I’ve gained through being a member of NCSC and the way in which the club has welcomed me has enabled me to do just that.  The whole weekend spent out on the Solent learning all about this boat and getting the chance to be involved in handling it is something I’ll never forget. I’d encourage anyone with an interest, regardless of sailing experience to have a go”  So it’s a big thumbs up to all those involved in the training section at the club, many of whom have had to navigate through some choppy waters this past year, keeping courses running and instructing students amid Covid 19 restrictions.

Thanks to all this, perhaps many more students like Lisa, will go on to realise a dream.

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