Following a successful career in property development Jason decided to take a change in direction and pursue his ambition of becoming a Yachtmaster. Not put off by a challenge Jason joined the programme in November 2007 just as the weather was really becoming demanding! Below Jason tells us a little about how he found life at Hamble School of Yachting, the training and what his plans for the future are.
I had done various sailing courses with other schools around the Solent and elsewhere and reached Day Skipper level, but didn’t feel confident enough to go further. I was taking two steps forward and one step back.
I contacted Hamble School of Yachting, following a recommendation, and explained where I was with my sailing and could they help. Immediately they came back with the answer I was looking for and suggested their Professional Sail Training course.
I jumped into the PST course at the appropriate place given my previous experience. Straight away I felt comfortable and not out of my depth. Rob and James, the Chief Instructor, had assessed my ability correctly and this gave me the confidence not only in them but also in myself.
The others on the course came from all walks of life, from the young guy hoping one day to skipper a super yacht to those who just fancied a change or a challenge. But having the same interest in sailing meant that team spirit soon grew and we all worked hard together as a crew to help each other out.
The Hamble skippers are some of the most experienced you will ever meet, and this is reflected in the training. Many of the exercises we did went beyond Yachtmaster and as a consequence when exam time came we were well prepared.
There were times when it was tough. When you’re tired and cold and skippering for the first time on your own, worried about making the right decisions Hamble were there to pick you up and dust you down and help you get over that hurdle. The support goes right on to the end and even beyond. When I passed my Yachtmaster late on a Saturday night the first people to ask how I got on were James and the guys. I think Rob was even more pleased than me when he heard of our success!
I’ve now done my Cruising Instructors course and can teach up to Day Skipper Practical. And my contact with Hamble doesn’t end there. They have helped me find work as a professional skipper and are encouraging me to go further as an instructor. I’ve now moved down to the Solent to pursue my new career in sailing.