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Pupils to get taste of life at sea 3 March 2007

TWENTY primary school pupils will be putting to sea after entering a competition being organised by the Department of Education, the Royal Yachting Association and Honda.

Year 5 and 6 pupils throughout the Island are being given the chance to computer design or hand-draw ‘My Dream Boat’.

The 20 pupils whose entries are selected by judges after the closing date of May 4 will enjoy a trip around Douglas bay in a competition RIB, organised by the RYA.

They will attend a briefing at race control before heading out into the bay on vessels, accompanied by RYA instructors. The lucky pupils will also take home goodie bags.

The prize, to be enjoyed on Friday, June 15, ties in with the Isle of Man regional final of the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship, round six of a 16-event series, which will be held off Douglas on Saturday, June 16.

More than 3,500 youngsters aged eight to 16 take part in the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championship annually and there are regional finals all over the British Isles and in Gibraltar. This is the first year local schools have been offered a chance to get on board with the visit. Entries must feature the RYA and Honda somewhere.

Andrew Norton, RYA Motor Cruising Projects Manager, explained:

‘This is a great chance for children from local schools to have a go at safe and controlled powerboating. They will be following exactly the same course as the experts and will learn a lot from the instructors but most of all they will have fun, which is what boating is all about.’

Jo Overty, the Department’s Media and Events Co-ordinator, said:

‘We are delighted that the RYA and Honda are offering this fun prize to tie in with this exciting competition series and we want pupils to be as inventive as possible with their entries.’

Minister Anne Craine MHK will help judge the contest and said:

‘This is a great opportunity for our primary pupils to allow their imagination to come to the fore. A dream boat can conjure up visions of a gracefully gliding galleon or a super-class speedboat.
‘Having the choice of using either a computer to design their dream boat or being able to hand-draw their entry will give pupils the choice of how best to illustrate their creation. Having seen some of the computer design and fabulous artwork produced in our schools, I am sure that this will attract a strong entry and look forward to helping judge the designs. The fabulous prize of a trip around Douglas bay in a fast RIB is too exciting to miss. I just wish I could enter the competition.’

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