In Loving Memory

David Cousins 1955 - 2023

Husband, Father, Mentor, Inspiration

North Oxford Marine Training is run in loving memory of David Cousins, born in 1955 in Plymouth who sadly passed away on the 22nd May 2023 in Derby. 

Having grown up in Plymouth, and been an active part of the Ocean Youth Club in his younger years, Dad joined Staunton Harold Sailing Club in 1995 having moved to Derby in the early 80's.

Dad joined after a walk up to the club one Sunday afternoon in 'curiosity' whilst the family were visiting the play park. He returned back down to the park with a big smile on his face exclaiming to my mum he had "joined a sailing club." You can probably imagine the response to this...

Either way his brief visit to the club that weekend soon turned into crewing opportunities in a Miracle back when the Miracles both had fleet status on their own race start!

It wasn't long before Dad purchased our first family boat, a grey Mirror Dinghy called 'Miwwa.' This was renamed not long after by ourselves to 'Dizzy Limpet' and painted red (even to the dismay of some at the time due to the fact grey paint had the lightest coloured pigment... making the boat now slower... allegedly...)

The Mirror soon led to Dad buying me my own boat in 1997 (a pink Topper), which I lovingly named Raspberry Ripple. As a family we would regularly visit Staunton Harold Sailing Club on a Sunday for club racing, or more importantly for me (Ferrets), which later changed it's name to 'Junior Squad.' Picture of me sailing as a junior can still be found on Staunton Harold's Website to this day!

In the early 00's Dad traded the Mirror in for a newer design boat, moving to a Blaze (produced by Topper at the time). In a similar time frame he also became an RYA Dinghy Instructor through help and support of an RYA Trainer based at the club (Elaine Penhaul). Dad then became regularly involved with supporting the instructing at Junior Squad training days and my brother also became an active member in a topper during these years also.

It was 2005 when Dad's inspiration as an RYA Dinghy Instructor also rubbed off on me. I completed the DI Course at Plas Menai in the same year and beginning further supporting the training that was running at Staunton Harold.

This quickly lead to me completing a gap year with Sunsail, prior to starting university at Leicester De-Montfort in 2007.

During my University Years, I spent time continuing to support sailing activities at Staunton Harold and sailed with my Dad at various club events, and continue to follow in his leadership shadow as an instructor.

In the end I completed 3 summer seasons with Sunsail, and using the passion and enthusiasm I had developed for coaching and mentoring within the Industry, made the leap to an appointed RYA Trainer in 2013

Today I have a very active life afloat and ashore in the watersports sector.

Without that fateful Sunday afternoon, the opportunities that a great sailing club such as Staunton Harold offered our family and the encouragement from my Dad, my life I suspect would look extremely different to what it does today.

In 2023, I set up North Oxford Marine Training to support the provision of shore based supportive courses for the instructor community in and around the North Oxfordshire. The marketing materials and plans for the business were ready just in time for Dad to see them and approve.

Today, it's an absolute privilege to run this business in loving memory of my Dad.

Dad was passionate for water sports and inspiring the next generation into getting afloat. As a family we hope all who passes through the doors of North Oxford Marine Training's can find their passion and enthusiasm for all things water related and spread that passion to others.

Chris Cousins

RYA Training Principle
North Oxford Marine Training