We recently caught up with two members of Ardent Training, the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s new supporters.
Charly Hewett and Charlie Triggs, who have both worked for the company since Ardent’s launch in July 2020.
Offering online RYA courses sail training filmed from onboard their yacht, Mipha, all Ardent’s courses can be watched via computer, tablet or smartphone, through video or text format opening up a world of opportunity to budding, and experienced, sailors. Their content is supported by diagrams, interactive knowledge checks and around-the-clock professional instructor support.
The pair have experienced very different journeys into the world of sailing, but what Charlie and Charly have in common, is their huge passion for life at sea.
Read on to learn more about their individual stories, and what it means for them to be supporting the JST.
Charly (28) – Co-Founder and Chief Instructor
I joined my local Sea Cadets when I was 10 years old, and we had a great time messing around on boats, rowing and dinghy sailing on the River Thames. I used to attend several times a week for just 50p a night and it was the best part of my childhood.
The Sea Cadets as a national charity also have their own tall ship, which was great. I was always able to access funding and bursaries to climb aboard so I felt extremely lucky to have the opportunity.
After that, I had the sailing bug! When I turned 18, I joined the Navy and continued with my passion. I had dreams of becoming a navigation officer.
Unfortunately, I didn’t pass my training and spent a year working in a café. I was devastated and wasn’t sure what the future held for me anymore!
I was soon back on the sea though and landed a job onboard the Sea Cadet’s tall ship Royalist as a Watch Officer.
It was an apprentice-style role, and I had some wonderful people around me who became my mentors. They gave me everything I needed to get on the right track towards my dream career in the sailing industry. At the same time, I really enjoyed mentoring the teenage trainees who sailed with us as I had real empathy for how tough it is to be starting out your adult life.
We even took part in some races against JST while on the ship. They were always a good laugh and we always had great fun – especially with the impromptu water fights!
Although I have yet to climb aboard with the JST, I have always been impressed by their brilliant reputation.
During my time on Royalist, and after I left my job there, I have worked with several other sailing charities. I’ve always tried to gain a wide range of experience within sailing and work with different types of people.
As well as sail training, I later fell into another niche of whale and dolphin research and after that held the role of first mate aboard an Antarctic expedition yacht. I can’t believe what an incredible career I’ve had already, and how it all started with sail training. Now, I own my own business and feel so grateful for everyone who helped me in those early days.
This is why I firmly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to get out to sea, which is why Ardent Training’s relationship with JST is hugely important. The JST is all about giving opportunities to people of all backgrounds and abilities.
Charlie (27) – Content Creator and Instructor
My sailing journey began with my grandad, a recreational sailor based in Hertfordshire, who travelled aboard Lord Nelson back in 1989.
Sailing remained a huge part of our family’s identity, and my mother had her own chance to sail on Lord Nelson in 2012. Having loved the experience with the JST, she has been back every year sailing as Watch Leader and as Cooks Assistant. Her last trip was the Portsmouth round trip in September 2021. She has completed her RYA Day Skipper course and regularly sails with friends’ in the UK.
Mum has also been on quite a few trips with the JST – as Watch Leader and as Cooks Assistant. Her last trip was the Portsmouth round trip.
Inspired by my family’s love of sailing, I was thrilled to receive a trip on Lord Nelson for my 21st birthday in 2015. It was for the Tall Ships Race which travelled from Kristiansand in Norway to Aalborg in Denmark.
It was an amazing experience and one that I’m really fortunate to have shared with my Mum. It was made even more specifical knowing that Grandad had been on the same ship 26 years earlier, and would have had a similarly amazing experience.
As part of my voyage, I did the JST Leadership at Sea award, which I documented using my Go-Pro. You can watch the video here [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thNfrhVARoo].
The voyage was an excellent opportunity to make good friends. We met a lot of Danish people from Aalborg, and at the end of the race we enjoyed the Tall Ships Race celebrations, which made for a brilliant finale to the trip.
By the time I climbed aboard Lord Nelson in 2015, I had already completed my Day Skipper training. Fuelled by my growing passion for sailing, I decided to leave my job and gain as much experience on the water as possible. This led me to gain employment and be able to work in the industry full time.
It was a great decision – and one I’m so glad I took.
Sailing has completely changed my life. It gives freedom, self-reliance and efficiency. It creates meaningful friendships and puts everything in perspective a bit more. I have had many special moments while sailing in all corners of the globe.
When I was onboard Lord Nelson, climbing up the mast was a very empowering moment for me. When the conditions were right, we could hoist others up and it was incredible to watch people’s enjoyment of that.
Myself, and the rest of the team at Ardent, are all passionate sailors, which is something that is often missed from similar organisations. We really want to inspire this passion in our students. It’s about enthusiasm, not just about selling.
We have written our courses at Ardent Training to be accessible to everyone, whether that’s through watching videos, reading text and diagrams, or by calling up one of our experienced instructors.
Sailing with JST really highlighted the importance of communication on and off board. We want to bring this into our training by ensuring that community is the key in everything we do.
And this is why we host online forums and live Q&As, for instance. We also have a specific community feature, which means students can chat with an instructor or with each other,
outside of the course material. It’s great to see how people can learn and grow just by starting a conversation with each other.
I wouldn’t want to have any other career and am so excited to see how we can help others achieve their goals and ambitions through our training.