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The first female Commodore of the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club says she plans to centre the club as a thriving force in the local community.
Sarah Hancock, has already shared its Falmouth harbour side home with millions of people worldwide after International news broadcaster CNN chose the RCYC as its setting for coverage of the G7 Summit in Cornwall.
Sarah Hancock is the first female commodore of the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club
Falmouth harbour formed a stunning backdrop to news reports beamed around the US and across the world.
CNN chose the RCYC as its setting for coverage of the G7 Summit in Cornwall
Hosting the news giants was one of the newly-elected commodore's first duties as she took the helm of the Royal Cornwall in its 150th anniversary year.
And the summit's “Build Back Better” conclusion chimes with her vision for the club's future: “Like everyone, we’re coming out of the pandemic with a new focus on the most important things in life. For the club, that’s our community - the one we live in, and the marine community of people who love the water.”
The Royal Cornwall's Greenbank location has one of the few remaining slipways on the Falmouth side of the Penryn River, and Sarah says the club is looking at how its facilities can keep up with changes in how people are using the water.
A main ambition is ensuring local children can learn to sail. “There’s such a growth in different watersports and ways of getting on the water.
"Every day you can look out at the harbour and see kayaks and paddleboards, dinghies, gigs and other rowing boats, sailing yachts and motor boats, and swimmers. We see a real opportunity to help youngsters learn about the water from experienced instructors.”
A key pinch point is storage for water sports equipment. Sarah is exploring ideas and partnerships with the wider Falmouth marine community to seek solutions.
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She’ll combine her long experience in racing, cruising and social sailing with her professional expertise, including policing standards, executive-level HR and private-sector business support. She says everyone is responsible for taking care of the planet: “Sailing is one of the original sustainable activities. It’s wind-powered and weather-dependent. But all water users need to be environmentally responsible. No-one can ignore the impact of ocean pollution.”
The new commodore says the role means balancing respect for the club’s heritage with a heavy duty to the future. “One hundred and fifty years ago, the decisions our founders took saved this beautiful Falmouth location so it can still be used by people in Cornwall today.
"We now need to make sure we do everything we can to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the water and look after the seas surrounding us.”
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