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It’s not just another aspect of Plymouth’s colourful culture – being active on the sea is also shown to have significant benefits to mental and physical health.

Plymouth has a rich culture and colourful history of sailing, from being the starting place of the voyages of Captain Cook and Drake, to hosting the first transatlantic race for women in 2012. The famous biennial ocean race The Fastnet – a first of its kind – concludes in Plymouth and has been hugely influential for offshore racing, and 200 years ago on his way to exile after the war, Napoleon commented on how the breakwater in Plymouth Sound was a “grand thing”. You want stories about the sea and sailing? We’ve got plenty!

So it was with pride that Unity Lets sponsored the recent J80 match racing event hosted by the Royal Western Yacht Club and organised by University of Plymouth Yacht Club (UPYC). Free to attend and led by experienced racers, the event aimed to introduce sailing to complete beginners, and provide a fun, competitive day out for experienced racers.

Attendees were given an introduction to match racing, and its various rules and techniques in preparation for setting out onto the water under the watchful eye of experienced racers. With the sea spray and fresh air in our faces, and brilliant friendly competition to get us working together, a great weekend was had by all involved – and luckily for us the weather stayed ideal for it!

With its striking coastline and rich nautical history, Plymouth is a fantastic place to sail, and university is an ideal time to learn this thrilling hobby. The UPYC provides training and resources for would-be sailors, keeping things simple, affordable and organised for those who might otherwise find it inaccessible, and providing events and opportunities for those who already love sailing.

The evidence of sailing’s health benefits is also growing fast; it’s excellent not just for your physical but also your mental health! Those who go out on the sea will attest to the relaxing and mind decluttering effects – in fact, a charity in Cornwall called Sea Sanctuary takes people on sailing trips to promote positive mental health. There’s nothing like it to help ease your mind of the stressful effects of exams and work!

Take a look at our album of exciting photos from the J80 match racing event and if you’re interested in learning, or want to get involved in local sailing, join the UPYC. Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned racer, the UPYC has something to offer. We know you’ll love it – and with any luck, we’ll see you next year!

If you’re interested in getting involved with sailing at Plymouth University but don’t have somewhere to live yet, have a look at some of our student properties.