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 Sailing 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!

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 drive our new and exciting foiling programme and to help 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.

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.

Ben Lee

Sailing from the age of 6, and working inland from age 16, Ben has since studied Watersports Management at Southampton Solent University and has worked aboard for several different providers. During that time, he competed in windsurfing and since then has worked in the UK coaching for the RYA Zone Squad and started with the ASWC – Portsmouth in Sales and Marketing from April 2017.

RYA Windsurfing Advanced Plus Instructor, Senior Sailing Instructor with Racing and Keelboat Endorsements, Powerboat Instructor with Safety Boat.

Hermione Garner

Hermione has recently joined the Andrew Simpson Foundation as Operations and Community Sailing Programmes Coordinator. She has worked her entire career in the watersports industry as a Dinghy Instructor, then Senior Instructor for centres around the UK, and more recently as Resort Manager before moving into an Operations Manager role in the holiday industry.

She is excited to be working with the Andrew Simpson Foundation and getting involved in the growth of the centres and the charitable programmes of the foundation.

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.


Hundreds Join in Celebrations at Watersports Centre Over the Weekend

The Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre – Portland (ASWC – Portland) celebrated its fourth birthday on Sunday 13th May, by inviting people from the local community to experience a variety of free watersports and activities.

A record number of people attended the event, all taking full advantage of the light winds and glorious sunshine and getting out on the water to enjoy sailing, Kayaking and Giant Stand Up Paddleboarding taster sessions. Families and friends enjoyed sailing together and there were lots of smiles as they returned to shore.

In the afternoon, crowds gathered in their hundreds to watch the notorious Great Dorset Cardboard Boat Race, an event which is rapidly becoming one of the highlights of the year in the local area. Local Jamie claimed the first prize, second place went to Sam and Lenny and the team from Sunninghill Prep School took third place.

The local RNLI station from Weymouth and the YHA Portland team also attended the event and provided educational and fun activities on the shore.

Alex Porter, Centre Manager at the ASWC said “This was definitely our busiest open day yet, thank you to everyone for coming along and joining in all the activities. Once again, we had perfect sailing conditions and it was fantastic that so many people from the local community were able to experience the enjoyment sailing and watersports can bring.

We hope to see more people at the centre during the summer and at our next family fun day which will take place on Sunday 2nd September as part of the Andrew Simpson Foundation’s Bike4Bart event”.

To find out more information on the RYA courses, multi activity programmes and clubs on offer visit www.aswc.co.uk.

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New fleet of boats for ASWC Portland signals the start of the 2018 season!

The ASWC Portland team were excited to receive their fleet of training boats for 2018 this week. A lorry full of 20 RS Zests arrived bright and early in the first wave of the 30 boats that will be delivered to the centre over the next month.

These boats will increase the ASWC Portland’s capabilities for enabling disadvantaged young people to access sailing in Portland Harbour. The boats have been designed specifically with training centres in mind and the team are looking forward to getting them out on the water.

Centre Manager Alex Porter said ‘It’s great to be one of the first centres in the UK to have the RS Zest and we are excited to see what they can do! It will increase our capacity for teaching and extend the conditions we can operate in due to it’s innovative design.’

If you are interested in trying out the new fleet, contact the centre on 01305 457400 or email portland@aswc.co.uk to find out more.


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Andrew Simpson Foundation to Unite Cyclists & Sailors!

Andrew Simpson Foundation: The Sailing Charity is to unite sailors and cyclists with a brand-new fundraising and cycling event in memory of Olympic Gold Medallist and America’s Cup Sailor Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson. Bike4Bart will take place on Sunday 2nd September 2018 from Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, Dorset.

Cycling inland from the Isle of Portland and the home of the Andrew Simpson Foundation, the three different route options will head into Dorset’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, offering a real treat of a ride whatever your ability level. With a mixture of spectacular views, leg-pumping climbs and historical scenery the route will always have something to keep everyone interested.

Alongside the Cycling event, the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre – Portland, (also based at the National Sailing Academy) will throw its doors open to the public offering a variety of free sailing and water-based activities, culminating in a great fun day for all the family.

Bike4Bart aims to help raise awareness of the amazing work that is currently carried out by the Andrew Simpson Foundation around the world, and to raise funds, allowing the sailing charity to continue both increasing participation in the sport and improving the lives of disadvantaged young people.

CEO Richard Percy said “Like many others within the sailing community, Andrew was a keen cyclist. Therefore, we decided it would be a fitting tribute to organise a cycling event in his honour which will start and end at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy, the home of the Foundation, and where he trained for his Olympic campaigns. The principle of this event is to help introduce cyclists that don’t currently sail, into the sport of sailing – and there’s no better place to do so than the home of the British Sailing Team”.

To sign up to Bike4Bart as an individual or as a team please visit www.ukcyclingevents.co.uk/events/bike-4-bart-charity-sportive/

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