AFTER seven years, one Olympic and Paralympic Games and 364 Afloat pages, I’m stepping down as the Dorset Echo’s sailing correspondent.

From next week, up-and-coming Laser Radial dinghy sailor Emma Stevenson will be representing the local sailing and watersports community through this dedicated page.

Emma, who is a member of both Castle Cove and Weymouth Sailing Club (WSC), developed her love of watersports through the Will Mackaness Trust and has featured in Afloat many times for her on-the-water skills.

Many thanks to all the Afloat contributors who have made this role hugely enjoyable, with special mention to Steve Dadd at WSC, Tris Best at the Official Test Centre, and Sara Lloyd at the Weymouth and Portland Cruising Association.

“Weymouth and Portland has so many watersports opportunities, in the past few years I’ve enjoyed dinghy sailing, yacht race crewing at Castle Cove, kitesurfing, windsurfing, kayaking and stand-up- paddleboarding.

“Although I actually left the Echo a year ago to work full time at Practical Boat Owner magazine, I couldn’t resist continuing as Afloat correspondent.

“Now with a knee operation looming – due to netball – and a long holiday in Thailand it seems to be a good time to move on.

“Emma’s well known in the local sailing community, I’m happy to be leaving Afloat in good hands.”

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