Wetwheels Foundation held its well-supported Operators’ Meeting last month in Portsmouth. Representatives from Solent, Hamble, Jersey, Guernsey, Yorkshire and the South East spent the day looking at fundraising, licensing, standard operating procedures and future training needs.
Workshops covered key ideas on funding presented by Jonathan Bean, and two colleagues from Mindworks Marketing explained how to successfully harness social media.
The meeting was also an opportunity for operators to meet some of the Foundation’s trustees; to learn more about developments in each operating area, and view the ‘man overboard’ video produced after a training exercise using a Wetwheels catamaran in August. As result of this exercise new boats will have an upgraded specification, and existing boats will be modified in due course.
Post meeting evaluation was very positive and the trustees have a list of things they need to put in place to further support operators. The date for next year’s meeting will be 19 October 2017.
Wetwheels launched its third boat on the River Hamble today, 14 May 2016.
Wetwheels Hamble will be based and managed at the Royal Southern Yacht Club and has been built to the same proven formula as Wetwheels Solent and Wetwheels Jersey by Cheetah Marine on the Isle of Wight and powered by Suzuki.
She was named by Dame Mary Fagan DCVO, JP, at a packed ceremony with over 100 invited guests including the Trustees of the Wetwheels Foundation, Eastleigh MP Mims Davies, the Directors of Wetwheels Hamble CIC and the Commodore of the Royal Southern Yacht Club.
A personal message of support for the Wetwheels Hamble initiative was read out from the Royal Southern Yacht Club’s Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
Speaking afterwards, Wetwheels’ Geoff Holt said: “It makes me incredibly proud to see this, our third boat on the water, especially knowing the lives she will enrich over her life time here on the river. The Hamble is very special to me for a number of reasons and I just know that the whole community will benefit from her presence here.”
Wetwheels Hamble will now commence ramping up operations and it is expected she will be able to work towards matching Wetwheels Solent‘s current capacity of taking more than 1500 disabled people afloat each year.
To mark this very special occasion the original Wetwheels Solent was joined by Wetwheels Jersey and Wetwheels Hamble for a sail past. Catch the video below.