On the Water

Wednesday Junior Sailing at Royal Lymington Yacht Club

Royal Lymington Yacht Club celebrates 40 years of Wednesday Junior Sailing

On Wednesday 26 June the Royal Lymington Yacht Club (RLymYC) was due to celebrate 40 years of Wednesday Junior Sailing (WJS)

Martin Young of Berthon Boat Company working with shipwright Gabriel

Martin's remarkable 50 year journey at Berthon

 Lymington's Berthon Boat Company, also now the home of BHG Marineis this week bidding farewell to an extraordinarily long serving member of its team as Martin Young retires after 50 years. Having learned his own skills from the previous 50 years of craftsmen, Martin has passed those skills on to the young apprentices who will be the next 50 years. He now leaves a huge legacy which is reflected in the admiration of everyone at Berthon, and has been captured in a fascinating video including a lovely gallery of historic photographs.


Lymington grandmother is oldest person to sail solo round the world

Lymington grandmother honoured with bravery award for solo world sail

Jeanne Socrates the oldest person to sail around the world single-handed, non-stop and unassisted.

Update 31 March 2021. Last Saturday Jeanne was one of the guests on Radio 4's Saturday Live programme in which she told her story, how she came to start sailing relatively late in life and what happened after that.  You should be able to listen to the broadcast here

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Jeanne Socrates from Lymington

Lymington grandmother, Jeanne Socrates, won a bravery award after becoming the oldest person to sail around the world single-handed, non-stop and unassisted. Jeanne triumphed in the 'active agers' category at the Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons, which were hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter Rachel Burden.

The Amplifon Award judges said: "At a time of life when people of her years are expected to be taking it easy Jeanne went into turbo charge. She was chosen as the winner for her bravery and endeavour by sailing 25,000 miles around the world single-handedly, not only once but three times. On her latest voyage she broke the world record for being the oldest person to achieve the challenge. And all this was done after losing her beloved husband George, with whom she learned to sail when they were in their 50s.”

Jeanne, 78, is currently in Australia, which has closed its borders because of Covid-19 pandemic. After joining the virtual ceremony via Zoom she said: "Winning this award is fantastic. I am absolutely staggered and feel very humbled. I've had to stay in Australia a few months because of coronavirus but I now want to get back to my boat in Canada. After my record-breaking sail it needs a lot of repair work and then I can go sailing again.”


10 September 2019

Jeanne Socrates completed her 320 day unassisted circumnavigation in Canada, in aid of the RNLI

JeanneSocrates AFPCHEK NEWS imageHuge congratulations to a 77-year-old grandmother from Lymington woman who has become the oldest person to sail around the globe alone, non-stop, and unassisted.

Jeanne Socrates, a member of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, set the new world record with her 320-day journey which began in October 2018 and came to an end on Saturday in Victoria, Canada. She was greeted by a flotilla of boats during the final moments of the journey, while hundreds of people cheered her on from the harbour.

A true inspiration to us all!

Jeanne is an inspiration to us all, young and old, both for the sheer grit and determination she has shown in overcoming challenging situations to achieve her dream, and for doing it all for such an important cause that is so dear to our coast living hearts.

Avoiding cyclones, bad storms and windless stretches, Jeanne beat the previous record holder, Minoru Saito, who was 71 when he completed a 233-day unbroken solo lap of the world in 2005.

During the journey, Socrates’s 38ft (11.5 metre) boat, Nereida, survived with a ripped mainsail, solar panels lost overboard and a damaged steering system.

Jeanne already holds the Guinness world record as the oldest woman to carry out the voyage when she completed it in 2013. She overcame serious injuries when she fell off a ladder broke her neck and ribs whist preparing for another record attempt in 2017. And Jeanne’s first round-the-world attempt ended in disaster in 2008 when she lost her yacht on a deserted beach north of Acapulco, Mexico, after running aground just before dawn only 12 hours short of completing her circumnavigation.

Speaking to a Canadian news outlet, she said: “The wind gods have not been with me – two cyclones off Hawaii to avoid, and a cyclone off the Indian Ocean to avoid. I wasted a week with that.”

Thanking the public for their support, she said: “They’ve sent me such great messages. I think they like the fact that I’ve persevered and overcome so many problems on the way around, and that I show it can be done.”

Speaking to The Times about her life and her adventure, Jeanne said: "“I’m 77 years old. For some women that means being offered a seat on the bus. But in the Southern Ocean I felt so amazing being alone — thousands of miles away from anyone — I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alive.” (read more here)

RNLI LIfeboatsRaising funds for the RNLI

Jeanne used her expedition to raise money for the RNLI and managed to exceed her £2,000 target with a total (currently!) of over £2,900 donated to the cause.

Speaking on behalf of Lymington's Lifeboat crew, Peter Mills said: "Jeanne Socrates has over come huge challenges to set a new world record, being the oldest person to sail around the world solo and non stop. We are very grateful to Jeanne for her support to the RNLI charity.

The RNLI is an independent charity, and does not receive any funding from the UK government. We can’t save lives at sea without public support. Lifeboats need to be designed, built, fuelled and maintained, and their crews trained and equipped. Lifeguards also need training and equipment."

Jeanne's Justgiving page supporting the RNLI can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2


Weekly What's On in Lymington and the New Forest

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Lymington sailors crossing the Channel in tiny WASZP dinghies for the NHS

Lymington sailors crossing the Channel in tiny foiling WASZP dinghies.

Creating a buzz with fellow French sailors to raise funds for the NHS and Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris.

The Foil For Life Challenge ready for the off - photo by James TomlinsonAt 0700 on Friday 14 August 2020, two intrepid young Lymington sailors set off on their challenge of crossing the English Channel in tiny WASZP dinghies. Hattie Rogers (20) and William Heathcote (17), both members of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, will be joined by British teammate Edward Higson from Draycote Water Sailing Club, and three sailors from France: Pierre Leboucher, Mael Garnier and Corentin Horeau.

Track the sailors here during their incredible foiling challenge: https://www.foilforlife.com/tracking

Raising funds for the NHS and APHP

Driven by a spirit of adventure, the team has organised their 'Foil for Life Challenge' with the aim of crossing the English Channel between Lymington and Le Havre, a route of 103 miles with an estimated 10 hours of foiling. They will be raising funds for the UK's National Health Service (NHS) and the French Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP).

The sailors have been training hard to ensure they have the endurance needed for what will undoubtedly be an arduous sail, but their determination to raise money for the two great causes is spurring them forwards. The team has also been working hard to bring sponsors on board to cover costs, ensuring that all funds donated will go to the charities.

The Foil for Life Challenge in aid of NHS and ADAPIf you are able to support the team in their arduous challenge, a donation to the NHS can be made on their website, www.foilforlife.com

Founder of the challenge Hattie Rogers said: "This challenge was able to be planned due to not having any international events this summer because of Covid-19. One of the best things about the Waszp class is the community feel. It is such a great opportunity to bring the British and French Waszp communities together and do something for charity.

"Covid-19 has highlighted the amazing work both the NHS and Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP) does and how lucky we are to have them. We want to raise as much money as possible. The reason we have chosen these charities is to deepen the meaning behind this challenge in showing the French and British sailing community relationship, despite Brexit and any political arrangements.

"The challenge route will be between Lymington and Le Havre which is 103 miles so around 10 hours of foiling! It is going to be tough, but I am so excited! We really want to show how amazing foiling is and the capabilities of the Waszp, as well as making a difference to lives with the money that has been raised."

Hattie Rogers out in her WASZP photo Charles Whiteman www.sleek.picturesSafety is paramount and the team will have three support RIBs in attendance throughout the crossing. A huge amount of work is going into ensuring that the challenge can be completed responsibly and in a Covid-secure manner. Choosing a day with suitable weather has been key, with a 10-15 knot South Westerly wind being optimal.

Using historical weather data, a window of 12 - 20 August was selected and, current conditions indicate that the team will depart on Friday 14 August. 

The Foil for Life Challenge by Lemer Pax

Since announcing the Foil for Life Challenge on the 19th July, the team has been working hard to organise the logistics, drum up support, create safety plans, train and raise funds. A major milestone was reached last week with the announcement of Lemer Pax as the title sponsor for the challenge. The support of Lemer Pax ensures that every single Euro and Pound raised will go to the NHS and Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP).

William Heathcote A worldwide leader in innovation in the radiation protection sector, Lemer Pax creates, designs, and engineers efficient radiation protection solutions for healthcare, research, industry, and nuclear applications. With over 50 years of innovation, Lemer Pax exports all over the world, eco-aware and cutting edge of technology radiation protection products. The company strives for excellence to protect the most important thing: Life!

Hattie said: "I am so delighted that Lemer Pax has come onboard as the title sponsor for our Foil for Life Challenge. They are a perfect match! From a lockdown vision just a few weeks ago to becoming a reality, it's just amazing and I now hope that we can not only achieve our marathon goal of foiling from Lymington to Le Havre, but also raise as much money as possible for the NHS and APHP via the www.foilforlife.com website.

Hattie Rogers Max Dooley www.instagram.comthemaxdooley A massive thank you must also go to our Silver and Bronze sponsors and to all those who have sponsored in kind and to those who have offered their time and their RIBs as safety support boats. Now we just have to send it!"

If you are able to support the team with a donation to the NHS, visit www.foilforlife.com.

Follow the team as they foil across the channel via @FoilForLife on Twitter. You will also be able to follow the sailors' progress via YB Tracking devices on each of the boats.

Foil for Life Challenge by Lemer Pax supporters:

Title Sponsor; Lemer Pax; Silver Sponsor: The Delphie Lakeman Trust, Isle of Wight; Bronze Sponsors: Andrew McIrvine, WASZP, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Le Havre Yacht Club, Royal Lymington Yacht Club; Sponsors in kind: Ocean Safety, YB Tracking, Sailing Fast, Zhik, YachtsandYachting.com & Sail-World.com.

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c'est la vie - nautical jewellery

Focus on C'est la Vie handmade jewellery Lymington New Forest

C'est la Vie indeed, with C'est la Vie handmade nautical jewellery New Forest

Another of Lymington's best kept secrets, for sailors and those who love being on and beside the water 

Cest la vie jewellery Lymington New Forest has lots of well kept secrets and here's another we've recently discovered: C'est la Vie Jewellery, the brainchild of Cathy Ash-Vie who was previously joint owner with husband Andy of Harken UK and now focuses all her time on creating exquisite nautical jewellery designs which she then hand crafts in silver and gold and sells online. You can view the full range and buy online at www.cestlaviejewellery.com.

The authentically detailed and unique pieces in silver and gold all have a marine theme but also include fresh, deceptively simple designs which will suit land lubbers too.

For example Cathy's silver reef knot earrings, necklaces, bracelets, bangles and rings pick up and reflect the light at different angles and make a powerful yet natural statement at any time of day or evening.

cast FolkboatFor the captains of the seas these pieces are easy to choose gifts for the girls; for the ladies there is plenty on offer for the men in your life including rings and block cufflinks with and without the Harken connection.

We are also marvelling at Cathy's tiny and intricate models of the much loved Folkboat and the J111 yachts.

Every piece is handmade to order from good solid quality sterling silver or 9ct gold.

As Cathy says "I have always been a sailor – from messing about in row boats in Fowey at my grandmother’s house at the age of 8, to graduating into racing dinghies and keel boats in Lymington. The sailing passion fused with work when my husband and I started up Harken UK in 1999. As my urge to be more creative and less cold, wet and bruised became overpowering, I had a Eureka moment when I decided I could create jewellery which reflected the sailing world around me. For the first time, I sat on dry land, while my husband raced a regatta without me, and I became absorbed in the fine detail and accuracy needed to model a silver Int.6 Metre yacht only 2 cm long. 

Cest la vie jewellery cufflink combi blocks That was the start and I now, whenever I have time away from running Harken, I absolutely love sitting at my jewellery bench absorbed in the painstaking labour and joy of producing beautiful charms and knotted chains that are recognised by sailors around the world."

Now read more about Cathy and her beautiful nautically themed creations!  

View and buy online 

You can view the full range of C'est la Vie jewellery and buy online at www.cestlaviejewellery.com; also call Cathy Ash-Vie on 07967 093790.


BHG and Yamaha - aspiring to be back on the water

BHG Marine Lymington promotion on portable outboard engines

Dreaming of getting back on the water?

While you're waiting, take a virtual tour of any BHG Marine Lymington boat currently for sale, new or used. 

Having a great time afloat with BHG Marine and YamahaWe'll learn to live "with" the virus in due course. Meanwhile cautiously optimistic preparations are being made to recoup at least a little of the summer when it's permitted to take to the water once again.

Lymington promotion - up to 20% off Yamaha portable outboard engines

And, BHG are currently running a promotion on portable outboard engines, with that long established quality engine maker Yamaha.  The creme de la creme of outboard engines, with a 5 year warranty too. All the details are here. 

BHG Marine Yamaha promotion At this time it’s not really practicable to hand new engines over to customers - particularly challenging with social distancing. However, any engines purchased now on the BHG website can be collected once the lockdown restrictions have been lifted. Meanwhile, customers can take advantage of up to 20% discount on all engines up to (and including) 25hp -

As above, here are all the details: https://www.bhg-marine.co.uk/yamaha-outboards-12-c.asp

New 2020 Jeanneau powerboats ready to go afloat this summer

BHG also have a good number of new 2020 Jeanneau powerboats in stock, which will be ready for delivery this summer - for details about this click this alternative link https://www.jeanneau.bhg-marine.co.uk/stock-boats

Take a personalised virtual tour of any boat you fancy in the BHG line up - new or used

In addition, BHG Marine are also offering walkaround videos and tours on all their new and used boats currently in stock. Simply enquire about a boat they have advertised for sale, and they'll put together a personalised walkaround video.  Below is a demonstration - as you can see you can really get to know this fabulous Merry Fisher from your living room!

So do call BHG Marine - you'll always be sure of a warm welcome, in person in the future, but meanwhile on the phone! Call Daniel on 01590 613600, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.bhg-marine.co.uk And here's the YouTube link to the show below too in case you need it https://youtu.be/hjeMymmtZlo

Escape Yachting lunch and dinner Solent trips from Lymington 2020

Escape to a half day cruise on the Solent with Escape Yachting

Sail with Lunch or Dinner trips on the Solent out of Lymington  

Evening cruise with Escape YachtingWe can really recommend this trip - been there and done it and it proved a brilliant instant unwind and rather a magical experience in fact including seal sightings.

In the current climate this has simply got everything going for it - easy access at Lymington Yacht Haven and instantly far from all your concerns...

As the icing on the cake there's a special discount for Lymington.com readers. See below for details. You can even escape to far flung destinations and a luxury “Escape" - see also below.

The breeze in the sails with Escape YachtingThe breeze in the sails and your hair, what better tonic for battered bodies and souls!

But, it’s hard to go sailing if you don’t have a boat and the know how, or a friend who does.

Yet the relaxation benefits of even just a few hours spent on the water cannot be exaggerated – it’s a staggeringly great way to remove yourself from the stresses and strains of everyday life!  You simply can’t help it – somehow the sea air and the motion of the boat instantly distract from all that.

On the other hand a skippered cruise is also a very special way to enjoy time with friends or family while somebody else does all the hard work – and perfect for a select group of Hens, Stags or the new trend STENS (joint celebration), too.

From May through the summer: £99 midweek and £119 weekends if you quote “Lymington.com”Evening relaxation on an Escape Yachting cruise with dinner on the Solent

Solent cruises for the 2020 season begin on 1 May, with both a lunch and a dinner cruise every day throughout the summer months. The standard rates are £129 midweek and £149 weekends. However if you quote “Lymington.com” it’s just £99 midweek and £119 weekends – book online here! 

Sail with dinner, Lymington.com review  

Our review of a Solent dinner cruise is from a few years ago but in fact everything is as relevant now as the day it was written because the principles simply don’t change!  So here’s the link to it: Sail with Dinner Review  

Also click here for the Escape Yachting Day-Sail 2020 brochure, and to view availability and book click here 

Book now and don’t forget to quote Lymington.com.

Escaping to further afield...

For far flung Escapes into the beautiful warm seas of Croatia or the Caribbean, or a stunning afloat adventure sailing the Canadian coast from Vancouver, visit https://escapeyachting.com/sailing-holidays.




Salterns Sailing Club launch dinghy for Olivia Inspires

Salterns Sailing Club launch dinghy for Olivia Inspires

The memory of Olivia Burt is honoured with the launch of a new dinghy at Lymington's sailing club for children, where she learnt to sail

Paula and Nigel Burt with Commodore Freya Baddeley at Salterns Sailing ClubIn November, Salterns Sailing Club welcomed Paula and Nigel Burt for the launch of a new dinghy named in memory of their daughter Olivia who was killed in a tragic accident whilst studying at Durham University in February 2018. The 'Olivia Inspires' RS Tera will join the fleet at Salterns, Lymington's sailing club for children that is run by children, and is named after the charity ‘Olivia Inspires’ that has been set up to enable the spirit of Olivia to live on by helping young people in the New Forest to realise their potential.

Olivia Inspires Tera launch

Speaking to members of Salterns Sailing Club on the pontoon, Nigel Burt said: "Olivia started sailing at Salterns Sailing Club when she was just 5 years old and she absolutely loved it, doing all the Moppy Camps and sailing in an oppie. Olivia loved her sailing and got so much out of it, moving from optimists to lasers and ultimately she was doing team racing at Durham when the tragedy happened.

Out of that tragedy we really want to make something positive happen, which is why we have set up Olivia Inspires to help young people in the New Forest. Olivia was the sort of person who took up every opportunity that was going. If there's a message to give to you youngsters, it is that if you see an opportunity, grab it with both hands. Opportunities don't come along all the time, take every opportunity and make the most out of your life. Good luck to all of you and enjoy sailing Olivia Inspires."

Olivia Inspires Tera Members of the Junior Committee then read out Neptune's boat launch speech, wishing good luck and safe voyage, with offerings made to the North, East, South and West, before launching the 'Olivia Inspires' Tera into Eight Acre Pond.

Commodore Freya Baddeley (aged 16) presented a framed tribute to the Club. "Before heading to university, Olivia attended Bournemouth School for Girls, where I remember her as a kind, talented and inspirational Head Girl. Many of the Junior Committee also remember her helping out at Salterns, she was kind, helpful and clearly loved sailing. I hope through this Tera, named in her honour, that Olivia’s memory will live on at Salterns Sailing Club for many years to come."

Salterns Sailing Club have also awarded Olivia posthumously with a Salterns Gold Pennant, in recognition of her sailing achievements. Olivia represented Great Britain at the European Laser 4.7 Youth Championships in the Netherlands in 2011 and at the Laser Radial Youth European Championships in Denmark in 2014.

Olivia InspiresApplications welcome for a grant from Olivia Inspires...

Olivia Inspires is a new charity in the New Forest that allows the spirit of Olivia Burt to live on. Born out of tragedy, the charity will help young people in the New Forest District Council area who are facing financial hardship to develop their potential in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths), the Arts and Sport. 

Olivia Inspires helps children and young people aged 11 to 18 years, whose families live in the New Forest District Council area and who are facing financial hardship. Grants of normally no more than £500, are awarded for items or services which enable them to develop their potential in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), the arts and sport. 

There are be three application deadlines each year, although applications are welcome at all times. If you know someone who might benefit from an Olivia Inspires grant, please suggest they complete an application.

Find here full details of how to apply for support: https://www.oliviainspires.org.uk/how-to-apply-for-an-olivia-inspires-grant/

Find out more about Olivia Inspires here.

More details about Olivia Inspires can be found here: https://www.oliviainspires.org.uk/ There is also a Facebook page for Olivia Inspires. Please have a look, Like and Share: https://www.facebook.com/oliviainspires

olivia burt sailing



Lymington young sailors 24h Sail and Brunch for Children in Need

Young sailors’ 24 Hour Sail and Big Brunch for Children in Need

21st year raising funds for Children in Need at Lymington’s Salterns Sailing Club for children, run by children 

Salterns Big Brunch CiNThe children of Salterns Sailing Club will again be raising funds for the BBC Children in Need appeal on 15th and 16th November with a 24 hour ‘Sail-a-thon.’ 

This is the 21st year that Lymington’s sailing club for children will be supporting Children in Need and all are invited on Saturday morning to The Big Salterns Brunch at the clubhouse in Maiden Lane, where the Junior Committee and their helpers will be serving hot drinks and food for donations to Children in Need - the perfect pit-stop during a walk around the Lymington-Keyhaven Nature Reserve!

The Sail-a-thon will be starting at 4.30pm this Friday, 15th November. Commodore Freya Baddeley and Pudsey Bear will be joined at the start by members of the UK National and Regional Sailing Squads, all of whom learnt to sail at Salterns, including 2019 National Optimist Champion Santi Sesto-Cosby and 2019 National Junior Optimist Champion Emma Breese.

“The 24 hour Sail-a-thon is a big challenge for the young sailors of Salterns each year”, said Freya Baddeley, aged 16 and a Sixth Form student at Bournemouth School for Girls. “We sail in shifts around the clock, throughout the night - no matter how cold, wet and windy the conditions.

Pudsey 2012 at Salterns Sailing Club“Over the last 20 years, Salterns sailors have raised over £150,000 for the BBC Children in Need appeal - not bad for a small sailing club run by children! 

“This year we hope to raise as much as possible and we welcome visitors to walk to the club and enjoy our Big Salterns Brunch from 7am to 2pm, and have a go at our Tombola and Silent Auction - all in aid of children in need. It’s also a great opportunity for non-members to find out more about the club!”

Throughout the 24 hours, members of Salterns Sailing Club, all aged under 17, will take it in turn to sail on the Eight Acre Pond. The Junior Committee have organised a number of fun sessions for the younger sailors, including seamanship races, 'silly sailing' and Scow rides for the youngest members. Older children will be participating in the Grand Finale of the Moth and Tera race series which has taken place over the season and having the great adventure of sailing at night.

Members of the Lymington Lifeboat crew will be joining the 24 hour Sail-a-thon at around 11.30am on Saturday for their annual ‘Optimist Race’ - a hilarious trial of skill, determination and speed as grown men attempt to sail in boats made for children! Definitely worth watching!

If you would like to support the Junior Committee and children of Salterns Sailing Club in raising funds for Children in Need, donate at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/salterns-sailing-club2019

Find out more about Salterns Sailing Club, including membership at: www.salternssailingclub.co.uk

SSC Website Children in Need 1200


Royal Lymington Yacht Club Junior Regatta August 2019

Royal Lymington Yacht Club Junior Regatta 2019 

High Solent Seas and an exciting week for junior sailors from Lymington!

Royal Lymington Yacht Club Junior Regatta 2019

Whilst the most experienced sailors in the country battled it out on the high seas of the Solent at Cowes Week last week, theroyal lymington yacht club junior regatta aug19 600 previous week was also a breezy and challenging one for the sailors of the future at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club Junior Regatta.

The Junior Regatta is an important annual fixture at RLymYC. Like so many sporting events it's dependent on its willing volunteers but even more so in the case of children's sailing because the ratio of helpers to sailors has to be much higher. In this case it's a veritable army of volunteers which turns up to help, many of them returning year after year, generations of sailors and enthusiasts whose own children have long grown up (some of them coming back to help too!) who gather and contribute their skills and experience, many enjoying the helping as much as the competing. It's good to see.

This weekend:  J/80 Nationals

Meanwhile this weekend (August Bank Holiday) it's the J/80 Nationals hosted by Royal Lymington Yacht Club - the J/80 is a popular and easy to own keelboat which has been in production for twenty years and continues to thrill sailors of all ages and experience. The fleet is competitive, but at the same time extremely friendly.  Should make for some good spectator sport for those in the vicinity out of Lymington into Christchurch Bay!

royal lymington yacht club j80 nationals Bank Holiday weekend 2019Junior Regatta Report - as sent in by the Club

"This year’s Royal Lymington Yacht Club (RLymYC) Junior Regatta  (August 5-9) certainly had its moments as the strong winds and choppy conditions called for last minute course changes across all four fleets.  Out of the 100 young sailors competing only the most experienced were able to race on the first day and with an increasing gusty forecast for the rest of the week PRO Gary Barnet cancelled the mid week all fleet race to Yarmouth in favour of racing in the river.  ESO Andrew Eady and his team of safety boats, mark layers and motherships were kept busy all week.

Gold Fleet Race Officer Malcolm McKeag delivered great racing for the advanced mixed fleet of 16 RS Fevas, and twelve 420 sailors. They raced in 14-18 knots of breeze and choppy conditions on Day 1 achieving three races. Days 2 and 3 proved more challenging. Tuesday saw breezes of 18-22 knots and Wednesday, consistently delivered 20 knots+. By the end of Day 3 every Gold Fleet sailor was according to Race Officer McKeag “a fully paid-up member of the 20+ knots Club“ with associated unlimited bragging rights.“

Happily this breeze was always with the tidal stream, giving only a slight sea and on each day three good races were slotted-in before the tide turned and the chop began to show its teeth.

In many respects this fleet showed what Lymington Junior Regatta is all about:  young sailors pushing boundaries to test their talent whilst having fun. Several Optimist and Tera sailors move up to the Gold Fleet keen to test their skill in the racier three-sail RS Feva; some of the new 420-crews were Feva sailors experiencing for the first time the trapeze-assisted Olympic trainer. New Feva sailors Henry May, Henry Cogan, Freddie May, Charlie Cogan, Sol Chamberlain-Hyde and Nico Impett were to be congratulated, as were Henry Patten and Jack new to the 420.

Thursday 7th August (Day 4) brought a whole new set of challenges for all the fleets with a light breeze (less than 8 knots) from the South and a course with a strong cross-tide. The decision was made to get as many races in as possible to secure a series and hold the prize giving that evening. A bonus for those volunteers, coaches and parents racing in Cowes Week.

Optimists helms in the Silver Fleet were in the words of Race Officer John Whyte ‘simply amazing’. For his race team the key challenge was to keep 30 boats and young sailors safe.

Silver was full of determined sailors (16 Optimists and 14 RS Teras) who enjoy their “adrenaline-rush” racing.

The race team tried to get them sailing on Day 3 but although competitors were towed out to Oxey Lake the wind proved too strong for them to race. The following day mark layers Martin Kemp and Paul Dodson led Silver off the dock early to achieve four races in light airs and complete a 9-race series. Although it would have been possible to run a fifth race the Race Officer; John Whyte realised that his competitors were just too tired to sail safety in such conditions. Leo Gosling in an Optimist and Henry George in a Tera both achieved seven wins.  They were exceptional. Silver fleet’s two coaches were of a higher caliber than usual, Olympic medalists - Nick Rogers and Sarah Gosling!

Racing for the Bronze fleet was revamped this year to focus strongly on “fun sailing” and confidence boosting instruction for the younger sailors. While some children did capsize they all bravely carried on sailing and kept smiling. 

Experienced youth sailors Alex Paton, Ben Curry, Emma Bennett, Freya Baddeley, Jonny Tait, Kate Wharmby and Tim Hire took on the Bronze fleet coaching role this year. As a result the improvement in the younger sailors’ boat handling, seamanship skills and confidence was rewarding.

The Wednesday Junior Sailing Scows went out racing with the less experienced as crew and a good competent helm. For many youngsters it was their first experience of sailing in race conditions so thanks must go to Scow helms like William Waterhouse (13 years), Will Swain-Murrison (13 years), Josiah Gething (13 years) & Anoushka Farrelly (14 years) who demonstrated considerable maturity in looking after their younger crew.

Scow Race Officer, Ken Kershaw ensured his competitors had lots of fun every day – Fyffe had donated 300 bananas to keep up the sailors’ energy levels .. plus lots of banana inflatables which were deployed after racing by sailors armed with water pistols against a defenseless but game Scow race team!   

Beach Master Sebastian Chamberlain together with stalwarts Michael White and John Evans organised an efficient launch/recovery service on the town slipway.

Junior Regatta is grateful for the generous support of Lymington Yacht Haven, which enables Wednesday Junior Sailing, the flagship south coast local community sailing programme.

Says RLymYC Sailing Manager, Victoria Leen: “Junior Regatta is a key event in the Club’s programme. We are privileged and lucky to welcome back generations of local volunteers who cheerfully give up a week of their time to make Junior Regatta such a success year after year.”

Photo Credits: Royal Lymington Yacht Club Junior Regatta  and J/80 class association website



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