Melvyn Cooper is Yachts & Yachting Sailor of the Month after setting up an initiative which in one season alone, saw more than 200 sailors take to the water to try racing.

Melvyn had noticed there was a group of people he taught to sail – especially adults – who could now sail but were not confident enough to take part in club racing or maybe did not own a boat.

It inspired him to launch the HISC Get Racing Club, using experienced club members as mentors to help those new to the sport to take their first steps into racing.

The Get Racing Club met 10 times last summer with a friendly format offering three short, fun races, with a pre-race briefing, on the water coaching and tips from the mentors, then a debrief.

With no charge for the sessions, or for using HISC’s fleet of RS Ventures, around 20 sailors took part at each Get Racing Club event, gaining racing skills, while the volunteer mentors found it rewarding to share their knowledge and enthusiasm.

Club spokesman Sarah Johnson says: “The initiative has bridged the gap between the keen and experienced HISC racers and novice members, who now have the confidence to race. Melvyn has put an incredible amount of time, effort and thought into the Get Racing Club. The staff at HISC have supported the initiative throughout and racing members have been very generous with their time, but Melvyn should be congratulated on seeing the gap, devising the initiative and seeing it through so successfully.”