HENLEY Sea Cadets have a new £4,450 dinghy to help them train for competitions.
The Henley Quest was bought thanks to a donation of £1,225 from Henley Lions Club and £1,000 from the Stuart Turner Foundation.
This money was then match-funded by the Marine Society and the Sea Cadets.
The boat, which can take up to four people, is made by RS Quest and was designed with the help of sea cadets. It was launched at last year’s Southampton Boat Show. Phil Fletcher, secretary of Henley Sea Cadets, said: “We’re thrilled. The cadets are very excited as it’s a brand new, modern boat that’s made for us.
“The sea cadets, like everything, are modernising and we want to keep up. That’s what we’re about — training the cadets in the traditions of the Royal Navy.
“We’re very grateful to both Stuart Turner and Henley Lions and the Marine Society and Sea Cadets. Let’s hope the cadets get many years of fun and use out of it.”
Chief Petty Officer Kelly Searles, who is in charge of the Henley Sea Cadets, said: “This is the new boat that has been rolled out to sea cadets nationwide.
“Our cadets can now learn in the same boat and not be disadvantaged. They can’t wait to get out there and try her.”
Junior cadet Brooke Sumner, 11, was one of the first to try out the new dinghy. “It looks like it will be a fun boat to sail,” she said.
The dinghy will also be used to help the cadets qualify for the Royal Youth Association sailing scheme.
Pam Pitts, president of Henley Lions Club, said: “This is a cause we thought worthy of supporting. We like to aim a lot of our funds at youth particularly.
“I think the boat is splendid and will be a great asset.”