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Cat Zero - no limits for One Hull!

Cat Zero - no limits for One Hull!
18 November 2011

ARC yacht One Hull is a 72 foot steel boat built for round-the-world racing, now earning her keep providing training for young people in Hull, East Yorkshire.  Sailing in the ARC will be the second leg of an Atlantic circuit raising money and awareness for the charity Cat Zero, which helps young people to learn life skills.

Many 16 to 19 year-olds not in education or training have a higher likelihood of getting involved with destructive lifestyles, and Cat Zero provides personal development, team building and life skills, as well as practical training such as brick laying and first aid.  The aim is to give the young people the confidence and skills to find a job, apprenticeship or a training course that will give them a better start.

One Hull left Hull in late October, first stop Las Palmas.  On Sunday she will start her first Atlantic Crossing with the ARC to Saint Lucia.  After a couple of weeks R&R the boat will then sail up the Caribbean chain and make the first half of the return leg to the Azores.  From the Azores its a January departure back to Hull - the entire circuit should take only 4 months, ensuring that the boat is ready for duty in March.  One Hull will sail with different crew for each leg, so if you want to get some ocean mileage with fully qualified skippers and mates, then see

As an ex-Challenge Business yacht, One Hull is built for Southern Ocean sailing, and is a perfect platform for sail training.  She sails with two experienced skippers and four mates/watch leaders, and can take 12 crew.   She is used by Cat Zero in a 12 week programme that helps young people aged 16-19 to get into work or training.  The charity is named Cat Zero after the MCA (Maritime & Coastguard Agency) classification for ocean-going commercial yachts - category zero - which means the boats can go anywhere, just like the young people the charity works with.

One of the young people who has been through Cat Zero's training is One Hull watch leader Sam Hodgkinson.  Sam was offered a try-out for the Cat Zero programme through Connexions, and after a 24 hour selection event, he was offered a place.  Eighteen months later, with no background or previous interest in boats or sailing, Sam has now achieved his Yachtmaster certificate and should complete the mileage for Yachtmaster Ocean during the Atlantic circuit adventure.  "I was quite shy when I went on the selection event, and thought I wouldn't be chosen" he explained "I can't believe what has happened in the last 18 months; there are so many options for me now."  The quietly-confident 19-year-old is hoping to continue his maritime education with Officer of the Watch training, enabling him to work on commercial sail-training boats and superyachts.

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