CONWY pupils got the opportunity to race the boat they had spent nearly a year constructing, thanks to a pioneering initiative by Coleg Llandrillo.

The learners from Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy, Ysgol Creuddyn, Ysgol John Bright, Ysgol Aberconwy, Ysgol Bryn Elian and Penrhos Avenue Education Centre, attended Coleg Llandrillo’s Rhos-on-Sea campus weekly, on a day release basis over a year.

North Wales Pioneer: This is the boat that pupils builtThis is the boat that pupils built

They learned all the techniques required to build a boat from scratch: cutting wood, working with glass fibre, painting and rigging, before racing it against each other on Marine Lake in Rhyl. Special guests on the day included the Mayor of Rhyl and Deputy Mayor of Colwyn Bay.

The day’s activities were organised in conjunction with the Rhyl Harbour Authority, and parents and friends of the pupils turned out in force to cheer them on.

North Wales Pioneer: The pupils preparing to sail the boatThe pupils preparing to sail the boat

Coleg Llandrillo offered a NVQ Level 1 in Marine Engineering (Boatbuilding) course to school pupils for the first time during the 2017/18 academic year as part of the college’s schools link initiative.

Fraser Longbone, tutor in marine technology said: “The young pupils should be very proud of themselves: to build a boat from scratch, and then sail it, is no mean feat. The learners seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“The course is a great opportunity for the pupils to work in an alternative environment to their regular school setting. It has been fulfilling to see these youngsters gain useful life skills and to watch them grow in confidence, in the knowledge that we have helped equip them for a potentially very bright future. We have had a lot of interest from other schools too for the next academic year.”