The on-site partner of the Olympic sailing venue will 'cease operations' this December

The sailing school based at the London 2012 Olympic sailing venue will be closing

its doors by the end of the year unless a new provider can be found.

LaserPerformance, the

operator of SailLaser Centres, has made the decision to close its Weymouth office, based at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA).

The SailLaser Centre in Weymouth will cease operations on 1 December

2013.

A WPNSA spokesman said: ‘The WPNSA has received expressions of

interest from both the private and education sectors and are in

preliminary discussions with several potential operators.

‘It is intended for a new operator to be in place and commencing activity as soon as possible in 2014.’

Restructuring

The closure is part of a restructuring of SailLaser’s global businesses, which has seen the company move to a franchise

model.

LaserPerformance has opened new SailLaser Centres on Lake Garda in Italy

and in Berlin, Germany and aims to open new franchise centres globally on an

on-going basis.

SailLaser Weymouth

centre manager Warren Surtees said four or five other companies are currently

in talks with the WPNSA about

taking over as the on-site sailing school.

SailLaser Weymouth

has been an on-site partner with WPNSA at Osprey Quay, Portland for the past seven years and has led

the hugely successful Sail for £5 legacy scheme, which has introduced thousands

of school children to sailing.

Warren said: ‘We’re

due to be off the site by 31 December, my personal goal is to make sure we

leave with all our customers happy, to exit the site with all the relationships

in the sailing industry intact and to help the academy in anyway that I can

with the transition to a new provider.

‘I’m pretty confident

Sail for £5 will continue with the new provider next year.’

Going out with a bang

He added: ‘At least

we’re going out with a bang, we had a good year last year and a fantastic year

this year.

‘We’ve had just short

of 5,000 sailors through this year, and that’s just the figures up to the end of August.

‘We’ve currently offering

Sail for £5 sessions to adults and over 14s for the first time, thanks to

funding from Sport England and Active Dorset, so we’re definitely going out with

a bang.’

The first Sail for £5

taster sessions for over 14s will take place from Monday 14 October to Friday

18 October, 10am to 12.30pm daily.

The next week of sessions will run from the

21 to 25 October, with morning groups from 10am to 12.30pm or afternoon

sessions from 2pm to 4.30pm.

All equipment will be

provided. To book a place call 0845 337 3214 or

email info-weymouth@sail-laser.com

Photos: Pico dinghy sailing on Portland Harbour. Credit SailLaser Weymouth; The SailLaser Weymouth office; The WPNSA