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RYA Instructor Jaz talks life after the Leap course

Jaz chose the Leap for Success course as part of her year out from studying and graduated in 2018 with her RYA Dinghy and Windsurf Instructor qualifications. Since the course she has continued to sail and even enjoyed two amazing weeks sailing in Lake Garda this year.  Jaz is currently studying neuroscience at Exeter University. 

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Have you been out on the water much since the Leap course?

Since the Leap course I get out on the water as much as I can. Over my first and second seasons I tried to take as many opportunities to go sailing in the evenings or on days off if the tide and wind were good! I also sailed on the team racing team at Lancaster last year and am hoping to eventually train here at Exeter but the standard is much higher here, so I’ll need to up my game if I want to race! Hopefully I’ll get to sail here even if it’s not racing - I’m looking at using my qualifications to teach the beginner sailors here at Exeter. 

I also spent two weeks sailing over the summer while on holiday in Lake Garda which was the most beautiful place to sail! I completed my first flights and sustained flights courses while out there and just had some general coaching too which was definitely worth it. 

 

So you've still managed to combine studying with sailing?

It wasn’t too bad last year - sailing was always on Saturdays so I set that day aside and did my work beforehand. Sailing while on season was alright, though sometimes I’d just be too tired to go out after work which was frustrating. It was really fun when the wind and tide were there as a a few times a group of us would go and do some pico fleet racing in the evenings. I’m not sure when I’ll get to sail this year at Exeter, hopefully most weeks I’ll get to go on the water but we’ll see!

How did the Leap course benefit you personally?

It was hugely beneficial to me and made me love the sport even more! It also really made me want to personally keep improving both as an instructor and as a sailor. 

I definitely think that the Leap course benefited me as a person. I gained so much confidence and I learnt so much patience and adaptability through working the last two seasons. Being able to confidently explain things in multiple ways as well as working in a dynamic team and being organised with running courses, have all been skills that I’ve used after my time on the Leap course. This season I really learnt the importance of having a plan B and making sure you have the confidence to stop and change what you’re doing if you know it won’t work. I have learnt so many transferable skills that will definitely serve me well at university and in the future.

You came back to work as an instructor this year at Rockley Point - why was that?

I really enjoyed my first season and living with all the other instructors so when I heard that most people were coming back, I knew I wanted to have another fun summer doing the same thing.  I also wanted to come back to get some more experience and hopefully gain another qualification. I was lucky enough to leave with my multihull endorsement at the end of the season. 

I had a shorter season than last year but it was just as packed and just as much fun. I liked not being the newbie, it meant that I wasn’t spending too much time figuring things out and I could focus on my methods a bit more. I also felt that I was relied upon more this year as everyone knew me and trusted me more having worked with me last year. I was even given the opportunity to run a school group which was a really valuable learning experience. I also definitely increased my confidence as an instructor due to a mixture of tough situations and challenges that presented themselves this summer. 

 

What would you say to anyone thing of doing Rockley's Leap course?

I would definitely recommend the Leap for Success course, I made some amazing friends and gained so many life skills through being part of the course, let alone completing the qualifications I was there to get. If you’re thinking of doing it, I’d say go for it. Even if watersports doesn’t end up being your thing, you’re guaranteed a great summer with some of the best people and you learn some invaluable lessons. Definitely worth the time and effort!

Rockley’s leap course offered not just sailing but also windsurfing which was a sport that I had never tried before and I thought would be good fun. Rockley is also a really friendly company with family values and is a great place to work in the summer! Poole also isn't too far from home which worked really well for me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your future plans?

Future plans? That’s a big question. I’m going to continue to work in watersports over the summers between uni and hopefully use my qualifications here at Exeter too as part of the sailing club. Eventually, graduate with my degree and then see where it goes! Honestly not too sure about that yet but I’m glad I have something to fall back on in a great industry that allows a lot of development! I can’t see me giving watersports up any time soon! 

To find out more about Rockley's 12-week Leap for Success course, click below

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