YOUNG sailors in Lyme Regis can develop their skills with three new boats thanks to funding from the town council.

The Lyme Regis Sea School Trust was awarded £3,800 by Lyme Regis Town Council to put towards the purchase of three dinghies costing £5,000.

The town council this year awarded more than £36,000 to 23 local organisations.

The volunteer-run sea school teaches young and mature students to sail, with around 200 pupils a year.

Sea school bosun Ray Waspe said he was delighted the organisation was awarded a grant to pay for two of the three Laser Pico dinghies.

He said: “We were looking to replace some of our dinghies as we had some that were 20 years old.

“The grant from Lyme Regis Town Council has enabled us to do just that and just last week we took ownership of the three replacement Picos. We have also purchased two additional Laser 2000s from funds raised.”

The dinghies are also used by local junior sailors at Lyme Regis Sailing School, for youth race training, regattas and other events, and by Woodroffe School students.

Mr Waspe added: “We try to make sailing as accessible as possible to those who wish to learn to sail.

“The grant from Lyme Regis Town Council has helped us to replace some of our dinghies and provide these students with dinghies that are as safe and reliable as possible.”

A cheque was presented to Mr Waspe and the young sailors at an evening sailing session by Cllr Brian Larcombe and Cllr Richard Doney.

Cllr Larcombe said: “The council is delighted to present the cheque to Lyme Regis Sea School. It will help provide facilities to enable youngsters to develop their interest in the sea and, as is often the case with this kind of activity, it’s character-building and helps develop good practical and life skills.

“We wish the youngsters and those who support them continued enthusiasm and success from their sport.”

Cllr Doney said: “I did an intensive summer sailing course several years ago and I saw the value for the young people on the course.

"Perhaps this grant will lead to Lyme Regis having its own Sir Ben Ainslie one day.”

The sea school was one of the nominated charities to benefit from the Tesco Bags of Help scheme, which raised £1,000 to purchase new buoyancy aids for students.

The organisation also received a donation of just over £659 from the Co-op’s Local Community Fund, which will be used to maintain the sea school dinghies.

Places are still available for summer courses in the weeks commencing July 17, 24, and 31 and August 28, details for which can be found at