Ocean Mentor to set sail on the Gold Coast
The Southport Yacht Club has launched the successful Ocean Mentor youth training program thanks to a generous donation by Riviera owner Peter Teakle.
Ocean Mentor is the brainchild of entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter Teakle who established the program in South Australia with his first yacht, Squadron Mentor, three years ago in a bid to attract young men and women aged between 14 and 18 to the sport.
The successful businessman said this was his way of giving back through mentoring young people and encouraging them to sail and race a current state-of-the-art yacht.
"Some people who become successful business people go into horse racing or polo or some other interest, my interest has always been boating and this is how I can pay back by giving young people an opportunity to learn to sail and race," he said.
"What I have seen so far is that once they have been through this training program they become very effective crew for other vessels ...I hope that once they finish the training program they become mentors themselves."
Mr Teakle chose the Southport Yacht Club because he saw a need for this type of program on the Coast and the club provides a range of activities across all aspects of sailing.
"Having met the commodore at Southport Yacht Club, I believe he will do a very good job and make the mentor program work in Southport," said Mr Teakle.
Through the program, young people have the chance to learn all aspects of ocean racing, including navigation, tactics and boat handling.
Southport Yacht Club's sailing manager Shane Smith will co-ordinate the program and is inviting young people, especially those with no previous sailing experience to submit an application.
Ocean Mentor is a Sydney 32 offshore racing yacht worth about $200,000, which will compete in the inaugural Sail Paradise ocean racing series in January, followed by the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August.
Mr Teakle aims to add a third race yacht to his fleet, Hamilton Island Mentor which will be based in his home of Hamilton Island in Queensland's Whitsundays.
Squadron Mentor was Mr Teakle's first training yacht which is based at the Royal South Australian Squadron.
"All three boats will be here next year for the Hamilton Island Race Week, so all three teams of young people will be competing and there will be a trophy for the most successful mentor boat," he said.
Mr Teakle's Riviera 56 Flybridge, The Battler, was the official press boat at this year's Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. Next year he looks forward to giving his new Riviera 70 the honour during one of Hamilton Island's biggest events.