Our Fastrack student meets her classmates on the eve of the course start in Cowes.

As 12 green yachtmaster candidates assembled last Sunday evening there was a real ‘first day at uni’ feeling in our communal kitchen. A few of the students had in fact come straight from university but the majority had either taken secondments from work or had handed in their notice (much like me!) looking for a career change or just an insight into a new lifestyle. The variety of backgrounds was interesting, including a bus driving graphic designer, real estate manager and diving instructor, with varying levels of experience from none at all to some bare boating with friends. There were three girls in the group but we’ll apparently be joined by a fourth in a few weeks time.

Flying Fish’s Andy Hunt (UK Operations Manager) and Amanda Ribbins (marketing manager) went through a brief outline of the course with us in the classroom that evening. The 12 of us were split into three groups. My group, together with one other, would be starting our Competent Crew course the next morning, while the third group did their shore-based theory work first. We were also given VHF, First Aid and RYA syllabus textbooks. The contents seemed a little alien at this stage but no doubt things will look a lot more familiar soon enough. Certainly a very different week lies ahead for all of us, and a far cry from a week in Yachting World’s office!