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Chippenham family team’s challenge upon the open seas
A mother and daughter have proven their seafaring spirit by completing a seven-day sailing adventure on a 72ft racing yacht.
Heather Scoynes and her daughter Charlotte, 18, of Chippenham, were part of an all-girl crew of 23 Guiding members from across the UK who joined the Girlguiding South West England Challenger Challenge from July 28 to August 4.
The voyage, co-ordinated by the Tall Ships Youth Trust, involved a round-trip from Portsmouth on a 48-tonne Challenger yacht, docking at the Channel Islands, Isle of Wight and Poole. It was one of a pair chartered by Girlguiding South West England to give girls and young women aged 14 to 26, along with adult volunteers, the chance to experience life on the ocean.
They learned new skills such as steering the yacht, hoisting sails up the 95ft mast, standing watch and sailing at night.
Miss Scoynes is a leader at 11th Chippenham and 1st Calne Guides, a member of Calne Rangers and has recently finished at Sheldon School sixth form.
She said: “I took part in the Challenger Challenge last year and enjoyed it so much that when the opportunity came round to do it again I couldn’t wait to take part.
“I am applying to become a watch leader with the Tall Ships Trust, which will allow me to partake in more sailing – I’d like to earn more sailing qualifications.”
Mrs Scoynes, 47, is leader of the 10th and 11th Chippenham Guides, boating adviser for Girlguiding South West England and helped organise the trip. She said: “I was quite nervous, as I am not keen on travelling on boats, and have never done sailing like this before.
“I thought I was fairly fit as I do a lot of canoeing but just bringing the sails and ropes up from the sail locker and hanging onto the wires is really tiring before you even set sail.”
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