BoPSAT honours Stuart

Pamela Pedersen names new boat for her husband and former chair of BoPSAT - Stuart Pedersen. Photo: John Borren.

An RS Quest training boat is the latest addition to the fleet of yachts available to young sailors through the Bay of Plenty Sailing Academy Trust.

This yacht has been named to commemorate Stuart Pedersen, who tragically died in October 2019. Stuart was chair of BoPSAT and a staunch supporter of the trust. His wife Pamela was present to do the honours and speak at the boat’s naming ceremony this month.

Held in front of the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club on March 8, the event was attended by local college students, following the BOP Inter College Teams Racing Regatta.

BoPSAT was established in 2004 by sailors from the TYPBC, with the aim to create a secondary school sailing programme and inter-college competition in the Bay of Plenty.

BoPSAT’s mission is to provide opportunity for youth to experience the sport of sailing irrespective of means or ability, and to create pathways and strategies to engage them in the sport for a lifetime.

A registered charitable trust with Peter Burling as its patron, BoPSAT is based at the Bay of Plenty Sailing Centre at Sulphur Point.

Through generosity of community funding organisations, BoPSAT owns 31 centreboard dinghies, trailers and associated equipment. In addition, the Sail for Life Perpetual Fund with the Acorn Foundation, initiated by Stuart and Pamela, provides financial support to the trust.

Through BoPSAT families can take advantage of concessional terms to charter a boat before committing to purchasing. Sailors can start as young as age nine.

“We have kids who discover a love for sailing through our low decile primary school ‘Learn to Sail’ programme,” says BoPSAT chair Roger Clark. “Sometimes there’s no way Mum and Dad can afford to fund ongoing sailing, so BoPSAT can help out with this.”

Roger says they also support young BOP sailors at the upper end of the sport, to go overseas to compete.

Through the ‘Learn to Sail’ programme with TYPBC, the ‘Stuart Pedersen’ will be used to teach new sailors the basics of sailing under the watchful eye of a competent tutor sailing with them. Once comfortable on the water, they transition into a one-person Optimist. In about 10 lessons they are able to sail quite confidently on their own.

“Stuart had such a passion for young people to be given the opportunity to go sailing. It is a pleasure to honour him with the naming of this new boat,” says Roger.

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