We were thrilled to pick up the MCA/ASTO award for Sail Training Vessel of the year for Donald Searle, at the annual ASTO/UK Sail Training conference, held on Friday 27th of January. Each year the award is given to a vessel which meets the safety standards of the MCA and fulfils the aims of sail training.
Donald Searle is the oldest, purpose build sail training vessel in the UK, and she has never changed hands, being operated by the Rona Sailing Project (formerly The London Sailing Project) since her launch in 1979. The trophy was accepted by Bríd Barrett, Project Director on behalf of the many volunteers who sail and maintain her to an incredible standard with care and professionalism. The Searle Family Trust, to whom the Project is indebted, have always been involved, and continue to support the operation of the vessel, as well as being represented on the board of Trustees by Andy Searle.
Many thanks to the trustees of ASTO for this very special accolade.
Donald Searle is the most versatile of the three sail training vessels in the Rona Sailing Project Fleet. Prior to the sailing season she is used for volunteer training, familiarisation weekends, boat handling, skippers’ validation, and revalidation weekends. She is prioritised for youth sail training voyages throughout the sailing season, facilitating young people between the ages of 14 and 25. She is the most popular of our vessels for therapeutic voyages for adults; being used for recovery voyages for adults with mental health issues and or substance misuse issues as well as voyages for adults with severe to profound learning disabilities.
If you would like the opportunity to sail on her in 2023, please visit our voyage programme online here, or call the office on 01489 885098 for more information on other opportunities to sail with the RSP.