The arrival of Mascotte, the largest surviving Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter, into her new home in Charlestown has marked the launch of a new sailing trust – Rich’s Boat.
The Rich’s Boat Charitable Trust was founded by Mascotte’s owner in memory of her skipper of nine years, Richard Clapham, who took his own life on July 30 of last year.
Mascotte, which is believed to have been the third largest Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter ever built, with the help of the Charlestown Harbour team to be used as an inspirational and educational sailing tool.
It is hoped Mascotte will provide a valuable team building asset to help boost confidence and morale – using sailing to champion positive mental health and wellbeing.
Jessie Atkinson, Charlestown harbour vessel manager, said: “Rich was passionate about Bristol Channel Pilot Cutters and incredibly knowledgeable. We had him aboard our own schooner ‘Anny’ last year as unofficial pilot for the Bristol Channel. His understanding of that notorious stretch of water was legendary.
“I know he’d love to think people are benefitting from Mascotte, taking good care of her, learning and sharing his passion for sailing.”
Rachel Bull, Rich’s Boat Chair of Trustees, added: “Rich was clever, funny, irreverent, determined, competitive, kind, stroppy and, in his own words “a very good bodger and a punk”.
“That’s what made him the unique sailor that he was. As trustees we hope to bring this essence of ‘Mascotteering’ and Rich’s style of sailing to the benefit of all those who sail with the Trust.”