A TOP sailor from Falmouth has helped launch a new children's academy in the town.
Sam Goodchild, who finished 8th in Class in the recent Fastnet race, took four youngsters out on his 33-foot racing boat to mark the occasion.
The Sailing Academy will operate from the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club.
Commodore Peter Collett said: "Many of the members have enjoyed a lifetime of sailing so we want to do as much as we can to make this an experience, and a choice, for young people in Cornwall."
With help of sponsor, club member David Coglan of LillyFreya Wealth Management, the club has established a Youth Trust which will help to fund the academy's activities.
"This event is just the start of a programme that will see the club give real sailing experiences to an increasing number of children, from all backgrounds," said Mr Collett.
"We are delighted that such a prominent racer as Sam Goodchild has given his time to take these youngsters out on his racing yacht and provided them a really exciting taste of life on the water."
Freya Hocking, Nicole Ames, Morwenna Pound and Morgan Usoro joined him on board, with Abi Cook from the RCYC as first-mate.
Mr Goodchild said: "Sailing is for everyone. Sometimes all it takes is opportunity, and I look forward to doing as much as I can to help the RCYC Academy within my racing schedule.
"The Royal Cornwall is the nearest yacht club to my home, and the fact I spend so much time away racing each year makes this even more special to be here, back home and going out on the water with these young sailors of the future."
Sam, 23, recorded the highest place finish for a UK sailor in 38 years when he came in 11th in the Solitaire du Figaro race this year. He will next take part in the 2016-17 Vendee Globe, the single-handed, non-stop round-the-world race that propelled Ellen MacArthur to fame in 2001.