The final countdown

Europe is very much in the air and for once it’s nothing to do with politics. Cue 80s hair rock pop synth classic Europe - The Final Countdown. This week was not only our Windsurfing Instructor Course but the last week of the Leap for Success 2018. So now you’re sitting comfortably let me tell you about this bitter-sweet week.

There were several emotions bubbling up this week. Firstly, relief that it was all coming to an end. This shouldn’t be construed as a negative emotion but linked with a sense excitement for the next stage, which was a summer of work either in the UK or France. There was a smidgen of sadness that we all realised many of us would journey to pastures new and we may or may not see each other again.

Still work to do

Despite, all the feels buzzing around we had work to do. Liz, Chief Instructor at Rockley and Tris Best, from the Official Training Centre on Portland were our Windsurf Instructor Trainers…Tris knows Sam Ross too! Perhaps the biggest difference I found with windsurf instructing compared with sailing instructing was the greatest emphasis placed on demonstrating the skills. Thankfully, it quickly became apparent to Liz and Tris that I needed to use a board and rig suited my hunky frame. That said, I think my demos while not having the grace of the more athletic members of the Leapers were good enough and have the bonus of emboldening my fellow cake eaters.

The course was similar to the Dinghy Instructor course in that we had to do a presentation, a couple of sessions on the water and a land-drill, in this case a session with the windsurf simulator. However, much like the sport in general it was a lot more chilled. Dare I say it, I think I enjoy windsurfing more than sailing.

And the award goes to.....

Once again, we battled some weird weather this week although it was mainly fighting the tides and the shallow water. In spite of that Friday seemed to come round at light speed. Everyone passed with only one deferred pass. Cue lots of hugging, Pizza Express and celebratory drinks. Leap for Success boss man, Tom and HR manager Kat Sargent joined us merry band on a night of good food, drink and tomfoolery. Jenna, my fellow Leaper, had organised an awards ceremony for us Leapers. The award trophies were pointy party hats and much like the obligatory ritual of men tying their neck-ties around their heads in a homage to the rock gods at weddings, those who won more than one award paid tribute to Madonna’s booby holder. I won Calamity of the Course, Bambi on Ice and with my comrade, Sam, cutest couple. Whilst having a deep Top Gun style love for each other, Sam and I are not a couple. Maybe if he looked like Scarlett Johansson and wasn’t so much like me I’d consider it!

Just do it!

With a heavy heart and a heavy head, the following morning the Leapers departed the next day. Alex, Chris, Danni, Jack, Jaz, Jenna, Malachi, Peter, Roxy and Sam - good luck and God speed my fellow Leapers. See you in September for the reunion.

I am dead chuffed that I completed the Leap for Success Scholarship. It was exhausting, challenging, rewarding and tremendous fun. Big thanks and love to my fellow Leapers and all the Rockley staff at the school, office and lodge. To those pondering the idea of dabbling in the water sports industry do it. I’ll leave you with an appropriate quote in so many ways and one of my life mottos.

“Ships are safe in harbour but that’s not what ships are built for.”


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