A South Coast sailing school has launched a new charity initiative to raise money for ex-servicemen and get people out on the water.

Mustang Sailing is offering Thunderbolt, its fully coded 2004 Bavaria 38 with skipper, a modest lunch and the entire day out starting and ending at Universal Marina in Hamble – all for £45 per person in aid of Help for Heroes

The school is proposing to dedicate one weekend per month to the cause and has reduced the cost from £75 per person despite a successful first outing last weekend that raised £288.46, including gift aid to help injured servicemen and women.

‘We had a lovely day,’ said Paul Stringer, Principal at Mustang sailing, Hamble River. ‘David, Anthony and Richard arrived at Universal Marina around 0900. I had got there the night before so the boat was ready to go, decks washed, fridge loaded and kettle on!

‘A leisurely motor down the Hamble from Universal saw us into Southampton water hoisting the main and away. Anthony had just done our combined Day Skipper course so he knew the boat and soon had us broad reaching towards Portsmouth.

‘The weather simply could not have been better, warm sunshine and enough breeze to have us slipping through the water at a decent pace. Dodging race boats around Gilkicker Point occupied us before tackling the entrance to Portsmouth via the Inner Swashway.

‘We picked up a buoy around lunchtime, Richard at the helm with Anthony guiding operations at the bow, first time pickup then kettle on and a spot of lunch.

‘After lunch we sailed around the mothballed warships and then made our way out to sea for the return to the Hamble. A long leg across to Osborne Bay, tacking in the midst of the anchored craft enjoying a late season day out and another long leg into the mouth of Southampton Water.

‘It seemed as though everyone was trying to grab a late season sail, lots of boats including some very fast powerboats and a couple of biggish gaffers. Our entrance to the Hamble was accompanied by a Dragon, ghosting along on the dying breeze, we had long since resorted to engine.

‘Yet more tea drinking motoring up the Hamble. Thunderbolt put away in the dying light of an exceptional day and we all wandered away to our cars as the sun set in the West.

The next dates will be in early November. Simply contact the school www.mustangsailing.com to arrange dates, then donate direct to Help for Heroes via www.justgiving.com