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7th May 2020

Portland

Boatfolk stories: Steve Pointon

Boatfolk Hero

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live in Cheddar Somerset and work with the MOD as a Trials Manager for the Army’s next generation of armoured fighting vehicles. I’m currently based at the MOD Bovington camp in Dorset. Kaz, my wife, and I have owned our Moody 28 since 2015 and have kept her in Portland Marina since then.

We’re both members of the Royal Navy Sailing Association (RNSA) Portland branch. We originally kept her on a swinging RNSA mooring, but for the past two years we have opted for the luxurious facilities at Portland Marina. We both learnt to sail with the Royal Navy in the Solent, completing the RYA syllabus over the years. I am currently qualified to YM Ocean and Kaz is YM Coastal skipper.

Why did you choose to berth at our marina?
Portland is the nearest all weather/tide marina to our home in Somerset and gives us great access to the Solent, Devon, Cornwall, the Channel Isles and France.

Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I sailed around the UK for the charity Action for Children in 2016 anti-clockwise via the Orkney Isles in 11 weeks, and again in 2019 this time clockwise via the Caledonian canal in seven weeks raising over £30,000!

When and how did you get into boating?
Whilst on course at HMS Sultan training to be an aircraft engineer, we had to participate in sport on Wednesday afternoons. My classmates were keen footballers; however, I was not, and very bad at it too! So to get out of playing football, I volunteered to fill the space on a racing yacht. I never looked back.

Who do you enjoy spending time on the water with and why?
My family. My wife, Kaz, and 17-year-old son, Harry, sailing around the UK and over the channel to France onboard our Moody 28, Tikka. I also enjoy sailing internationally as a Royal Navy Reservist onboard the much larger Challenge 72. Greenland, New Zealand, to Uruguay via Cape Horn, the east coast of the USA, and crossing the Atlantic from New York to Gosport were my favourite expeditions.

What’s been your fondest boating memory?
My favourite sailing has to be from Portland with my wife, family and friends. My best trip was in 2016, sailing around the UK via the Orkney Isles where I changed crew each week for 11 weeks to raise awareness and money for disadvantaged children through the charity Action for Children.

Describe your perfect few days afloat?
Sailing on a beam reach with my family in F4/5 onboard our family yacht Tikka, accompanied by dolphins.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration and why?
I am inspired by many sailors, climbers and adventurers. My biggest inspiration is Jeanne Socrates, she started sailing in her 50s and became the oldest woman to sail solo, unassisted non-stop around the world age 70, and then became the oldest person to achieve this age 77 last year. Kaz and I followed her progress during her earlier record and have become good friends. She visits us and has sailed with us onboard Tikka from Portland, including sailing around the UK for the charity in 2016.

What is your ultimate dream/goal?
To retire and spend my time sailing with Kaz, without deadlines and no job to rush back to. I’d particularly like to sail around the UK again, but to stop at more places and not be beholden to a timetable. We would also like to venture further afield, further north to the  Shetland Isles, Faroes, Iceland, Norway and the Baltic.

What do you wish you spent more time doing five years ago?
Sailing! 😊

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be more confident and ambitious, and not listen to pessimistic people who may hold you back.

What are your boating plans for the future?
Kaz and I would like to get more involved in charity sailing. Particularly to encourage disadvantaged children to sail and to see them grow in confidence, participate, understand the importance of teamwork and beauty of nature.

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