About Us

Founded in 2014, the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre was set up to be a vessel to help achieve the Andrew Simpson Foundation’s charitable objectives. We are passionate about encouraging young people into sailing and watersports and we pride ourselves on giving the best experience possible. We operate with the best kit, at the best locations and with the best instructors.

Portland, UK

World-class sailing venue with consistent winds and breath-taking scenery of the Jurassic Coast. Enjoying watersports in Portland Harbour is safe, fun and unforgettable.

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Portsmouth, UK

Ideally located on the stunning shores of Langstone Harbour, our Centre in Portsmouth has a very wide range of activities for all ages and abilities. With both water and land-based options, there is something for everyone.

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Reading, UK

ASWC-Reading’s centrally-located lake is perfect for a quick escape to learn and pursue your favourite adventures. Close to major UK transport links and set in a safe and enclosed inland area, we have both water and land-based activities to suit all.

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Lake Garda, Italy

Our first overseas location on the spectacular shores of Lake Garda, a renowned venue of excellence for watersports offers the perfect balance between relaxing and being active for a trip you will never forget. Feel like you’re truly escaping with a fantastic range of water and land-based activities.

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Our Team

Alex Porter

Alex joined the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre 2015 as the new Centre Manager. Having worked in the Watersports Industry in the UK and overseas for over 20 years, Alex has gained a vast amount of experience and knowledge. His leadership skills will help drive and mentor the team to develop their skills to carry on providing excellent tuition and service to all of our customers.

RYA Dinghy Coach Assessor, RYA Powerboat Instructor, RYA INP Windsurfing Instructor, BCU Kayak/Canoe Coach, BSUPA Instructor, PADI Rescue Diver and Yacht Master.

Savannah Gordon

Savannah joined the team at ASWC Portland in 2018.

Ever since she discovered watersports she’s been fascinated. She moved to Poole Harbour, started crewing in a couple of club races and the rest is history. She became a Dinghy Instructor in 2015 on the Isle of Wight and qualified as a Senior Instructor in 2017. This has allowed her to work in multiple centre’s across Europe and finally bought her to ASWC Portland! Her main focus is to increase school participation, maintain sales and organise the boys in the office.

Savannah also holds a degree in Photography and is usually found behind a camera taking epic snaps on the water!

RYA Senior Dinghy Instructor with Advanced and Multihull endorsements, RYA Start Windsurf Instructor.

Nathan Bloss

Nathan joined the team as Chief Instructor in November 2017 and brings his knowledge and experience from various centres around Europe and in the UK. Fresh from 7 seasons of working abroad, he has arrived at an exciting time for the centre, Nathan will be helping to develop the next wave of sailors and instructors.

RYA Senior Instructor with Multi-hull and Advanced Endorsements, RYA Powerboat Instructor, RYA Planing Windsurf Instructor, VHF Short Wave Radio and BSUPA Instructor.

James Parker-Mowbray

James joined the team in March 2018.

Since developing through the junior and youth racing pathways, James has always had keen involvement with the sailing industry. Whilst at the University of Plymouth he helped develop both racing and learn to sail schemes alongside graduating in Marine and Composite Technology. From there, he worked 4 seasons abroad, developing as a watersports and senior instructor at busy centres.

As Senior Instructor at ASWC – Portland his main role is to aid the other instructors and oversee the day to day running of the centre; He is also focused on developing the race coaching and foiling programs that we offer.

RYA Senior Instructor with Racing and Advanced endorsements, RYA Windsurf planing instructor, RYA Powerboat Instructor and RYA Sustained Flights Foiling Instructor.

Nathan Staley

Sailing from a young age and competing at a National Level, Nathan became a Dinghy Instructor at the Age of 16 and began instructing at his local club. He attended Swansea Institute of Higher Education where he studied Watersports and Adventure Activity Management.

Nathan has worked in a number of different countries, teaching both children and adults how to sail. He has been Centre Manager in ASWC- Portsmouth for 7 years and is passionate about the industry and introducing as many new people to watersports as possible.

RYA Coach Assessor, First Aid Trainer, RYA Powerboat Instructor.

Jake Elsbury

Jake Joined ASWC Portsmouth in July 2018.

He grew up on the south coast and was introduced into water sports by the Sea Scouts. Jake has developed through working at RYA Training Centres and Clubs within Chichester harbour and honed his leadership abilities with a spell in the British Army. Jake has a real passion for seeing others develop and uses his role as chief instructor to enable this to great effect.

In the winter months Jake found time to develop his paddling skills in canoe and kayak, including White water kayak coaching. Jake is also involved in the RYA Zone Squad coaching and spends his spare time volunteering for other Sailing charities and his local sailing club.

RYA Coach Assessor, RYA Level 3 Race Coach, RYA Powerboat instructor, RYA windsurf Instructor, British Canoeing Level 2 coach with MWE WW Kayak, 4* Canoe Leader

Will Keyser

Will joined the ASWC – Portsmouth team in 2017.

Will learned to sail on the river Thames near London. He progressed quickly and started sailing a 29er at QMSC. At 17 Will became a dinghy instructor and, through working at watersports centre’s, caught the windsurfing bug. Alongside his dinghy coaching at Portsmouth he is now also a Zone Squad coach for the RYA South Windsurfing Zone. Will brought his fresh experience from working 2 seasons abroad to ASWC – Portsmouth last year.

RYA Senior Instructor, Race Coach Level 2, RYA Windsurfing Intermediate Planing Instructor, RYA Powerboat Instructor.

Paul Outram

Paul grew up on the Channel Islands and has always been involved in anything water based! Sailing since aged 8, he has now been working full time in the watersports industry for over 20 years developing his personal and coaching skills and experience. He is the new Centre Manager of our Reading centre, focusing on building a busy and friendly centre offering a wide range of watersports.

RYA Centre Inspector, RYA Coach Assessor, RYA Windsurf Trainer, RYA Powerboat Instructor, Commercially Endorsed Yacht Master.

Kat Banks

Kat joined the ASWC Reading centre in March 2018 and hit the ground running!

She was introduced to sailing though Girlguiding and learnt to sail at her local club in Cheshire. Kat volunteered there as an assistant instructor for a long time before qualifying as a dinghy instructor whilst at university. She joined the industry 5 years ago and began training & instructing at Plas Menai before moving to a Local Authority centre in Wokingham. Most recently she has been learning to sail foil and windsurf. Kat’s passion is introducing people to the wonderful world of watersports & the great outdoors in general. She loves a challenge and can often be found running, cycling, hiking, & travelling in her spare time.

RYA Dinghy Senior Instructor, British Canoeing Paddlesport Instructor, a SUPfit Instructor, & RYA Powerboat Instructor.

Shaun Priestley

Shaun has worked in the Marine industry for 12 years. This experience has included coaching roles at several Laser Worlds and other international regattas as well as the RYA Paralympic pathway. Now a RYA Coach assessor Shaun is one of the coaches at the forefront of the RYA investigation of Foiling into the national sailing scheme. This extensive experience which also includes operations management will bring a wealth of knowledge to the team.

RYA Coach Assessor, SailFoil Trainer, Race Coach level 2, Advanced Instructor.

Jo Priestley

Jo is joining the team from Bermuda having worked for the America’s Cup Endeavour Program as the Club Development officer. Previous work has taken her around the world working in several overseas Sailing schools including France, India, Oman and Italy. This work has been in sales, communications and centre management.

RYA Senior Dinghy Instructor

Aaron Smith

Aaron grew up sailing having competed in the Optimist from a young age. This included 2 worlds and achieving 2 top 3 results at national level. As he progressed he became a keen laser sailor and raced in several national championships as well as 5 Laser worlds – 1 in the 4.7, 4 in the Radial and 1 in the Laser Standard, with several top 3 results under his belt. Now a RYA SailFoil and WindFoil, RYA Senior dinghy, RYA windsurf instructor and a qualified race coach he is a great asset to the ASWC Lake Garda.

RYA Senior Instructor, RYA SailFoil Instructor, RYA WindFoil Instructor, RYA Powerboat Instructor, Race coach level 2.


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Jan 2019
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Mar 2019
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NEW Youth Performance Programme Launched at the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centres for Aspiring Future Champions

Due to demand, the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centres have launched a new class specific performance training programme to provide young people with the opportunities to access affordable, high-level sail training in Optimists, Lasers, RS Fevas, 420s and BIC Technos.The aim of this programme is to provide a clear participation pathway taking young people from entry level/grassroots sailing into the recognised RYA racing pathways.

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