Gordonstoun’s founder, Dr Kurt Hahn, described the Moray Firth as his ‘best school master’. To this day, sailing is a key element of a Gordonstoun education.
No other school incorporates sailing and water sports into its curriculum in the same way.
Gordonstoun has its own fully equipped ocean-going yacht, Ocean Spirit of Moray (an Oyster 80 foot ketch). Its sole function is as a sail training vessel for students and it is designed to introduce and train them for the sea. Ocean Spirit is capable of fast, safe passages and can cope with whatever the Scottish weather throws at her!
Every student takes part in a programme of seamanship as part of the curriculum. This starts on our locally built cutters prior to voyages on Ocean Spirit. The school also has a fleet of Toppers, Lasers, Vagos and powerboats which sail from Hopeman Harbour, a fishing village three miles from the school. In the summer holidays Ocean Spirit takes a student crew further afield to the Arctic, the Azores and also regularly takes part in Tall Ships Races.
Sail training develops confidence, perseverance, leadership and teamwork. These are key transferable skills which enhance students’ ability to perform in all areas, including the academic, and grounds them as individuals.
“It’s hard to put into words but sailing completely changed my outlook on life. I had just the most insane confidence change. When there’s nothing else left in you but you have to keep going, that’s when you find out what you really can do. It was definitely life changing.” Former student.