Sailing away on the Spirit

Ready for their voyage on the Spirit of New Zealand are, front row from left, Rose Fletcher-Young, Tilly Johnson, Pippa Clark, Issy Marr, Maddie Chivers; back row: Harry Cowie, William Jones, Archie Cudmore, Max Rooney, absent: Mac Smith.
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At 6.30am in middle of June most of us will be tucked up warm in bed, but for ten Year 10 Mount Hutt College students they will be jumping off the side of the Spirit of New Zealand into the ocean.

It was a hotly contested opportunity as 20 students from the college applied for the 10 berths on the sailing. To be selected the students had to write a blurb about themselves and why they wanted to go, then teachers from the college selected the students for the five day trip.

They are: Mac Smith, Max Rooney, Harry Cowie, Will Jones, Archie Cudmore, Rose Fletcher-Young, Izzy Marr, Maddie Chivers, Pippa Clark and Tilly Johnson.

The ship departs from Auckland and the Mount Hutt College won’t be the only school with students on board.

‘‘There are two or three other schools on board. We compete against each other for a cup,’’ Maddie said.

The students will enjoy a learning experience like no other that guarantees challenge, adventure, creativity and reward.

Each of them have their own reasons for wanting to go.

Max, who has never sailed before, said ‘‘I’m looking forward to experiencing new things.’’

One past fundraiser saw students Maddie Chivers, Will Jones, Mac Smith, Max Rooney, and Rose Fletcher-Young, on the BBQ cooking sausages.

At that time of the year the students will be leaving behind the cold of Mid Canterbury but Mac said he didn’t expect the water to be too cold. ‘‘Socialising with new people,’’ is the part of the trip he was excited about.

The cost of the trip doesn’t come cheap.

It costs each student $2000 to go on the ship.

To raise the funds Pippa said ‘‘we have had a wood raffle, sold lollies and croissants, and held a sausage sizzle.’’

The Methven Lions have generously supported them with a donation.

The students are continuing to fundraise with a car wash at Repco, in Ashburton this Saturday from 9am to noon.

Maddie said they are grateful to GH Contracting ‘‘who have sponsored the thermals we will wear.’’

Having never sailed before Rose knows she will grow through the experience.

The students aren’t worried about being away from family or the early ‘‘showers’’ in the sea but some aren’t looking forward to anyone, including themselves, being seasick.

For Maddie learning how to sail is the reason she wanted to go on the Spirit of Adventure programme.

While jumping off the side of the ship every morning isn’t everyone’s thing, for Archie, he is ‘‘looking forward to it because I want to be a pirate and walk the plank,’’ he said.

‘‘The opportunity to meet other schools and take part in team building exercises,’’ is what excites Will about the opportunity.

Activities in the programme include ship-handling, teamwork, problem-solving, debating, and water sports; both on the water and in it. Teams also go ashore and complete tasks against each other and enjoy competitive games involving ingenuity, leadership and fun.

The students are all looking forward to undertaking this great adventure but are unsure how the challenge will change them – or if it will.