A ROMSEY school celebrated in style to launch its sailing season.

Hampshire Collegiate School recently launched its 2019 sailing season for pupils by hosting a launch party.

The party took place at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club and celebrated the start of its keelboat sailing programme.

After some diligent preparations by pupils and staff over the Easter holidays, a spokesperson from the school said that the “sailing programme promises to be bigger and better than ever.”

Once again, senior school pupils will enjoy weekly keelboat and powerboat training as part of the school’s curriculum which will take place from April to October

Also from year three, prep school pupils will have the opportunity to learn to sail aboard the school’s keelboats in the summer term.

This year, the school’s sailors will have the opportunity to train and compete in the Round the Island Race, Cowes Week Etchells 22 series, Solent Keelboat race events and Weekly Royal Lymington Yacht Club Evening Series.

The 2019 season brings a whole new aspect to the Hampshire Collegiate School keelboat experience with the addition of a 37 foot deep-water race boat .

A spokesperson from the school said: “ Set up for single and short-handed racing, she is easily driven, hitting 10 knots in very moderate winds and planing up into the mid-teens when the wind fills her spinnaker.

“But with a 2.5 tonne keel eight feet below the waterline, she is as stiff and predictable.”

Jonathan Churchill, head of sailing at the school said: “Exciting and challenging, but well-proven, the stripped-out race thoroughbred will take our more accomplished sailors into junior offshore group races, cross-channel, Cowes week, Round the Island and ultimately the 2021 Fastnet race if we can qualify.

“This is true progression from recreational keelboating into demanding, collaborative, team-building personal development.”