Mike Acton has stepped down from the helm of the Island Youth Water Activity Centre (IYWAC).
THE BOSS of an Isle of Wight charity sailing school which has helped thousands of youngsters get their feet wet has resigned.
Mike Acton, Island Youth Water Activities Centre (IYWAC) manager and co-founder, has decided to move on after 22 years at the centre, the Cowes-based charity announced today (Tuesday).
IYWAC replaced the Isle of Wight Council Sailing Centre in 1991, when it was due to be reduced to seasonal status, a move which would have effectively shut it down.
When Mr Acton first became manager, the number of sessions run for Island youngsters stood at around 1,700 but under his leadership it increased to 8,000 sessions in the centre’s peak years.
The centre’s facilities have also improved and there are now expanded opportunities to take Royal Yachting Association (RYA) theory classes, VHF radio classes and first aid certificates, the charity said.
Young sailors have had opportunities to race in Cowes Week and there have been trophies for cross-Channel races.
For some young people, the centre has provided a life-line saving them from slipping into a life on the wrong side of the law, a spokesman said.
Many youngsters who have taken initial qualifications have gone on to jobs at other centres on the Island while some have moved abroad.