Former Royal Marine passes coveted sailing exam

13th November 2017

A staff member at Turn to Starboard has proven his first rate nautical skills and passed his Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Yachtmaster exam.

Rich Birchall received the coveted qualification after successfully completing a practical sailing exam last week.

Rich, 33, served in the Royal Marines for 14 years until he was medically discharged with a back injury in 2013. He has since made a smooth transition from Marine to mariner and is now employed as the bosun on board the ‘Spirit of Falmouth,’ – a 92-foot wooden gaff-rigged schooner donated to the charity by The Princes Trust.

He said: “I feel incredibly proud to have passed the Yachtmaster exam after what feels like in incredibly long journey. My final two weeks of preparation culminated in a practical exam last Friday, and I felt a huge sense of relief when the instructor told me I had passed. I’d like to say a huge thanks to Dan, Ross, Adrian and the instructor Bob who were all on the boat during the exam, and to all the staff at Turn to Starboard for all their support.”

Turn to Starboard CEO Shaun Pascoe said: “We are particularly excited with Rich gaining his Yachtmaster qualification as over the last few years he has put the needs of the charity over is own training programme. It gave me great pleasure to present him with his commemorative coin and we wish him the best of luck with his future sailing.”


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