International sailing champion supports youth section at his home club in Lyme Regis

National and international sailing champion Chris Turner with Lyme Regis youth section members Freddie, Harry, Frankie and Elliot and their ILCAs

NATIONAL and international sailing champion Chris Turner is now supporting the youth section at his home club in Lyme Regis. 

Chris, and his brother – Americas Cup crew member Jim – grew up in Lyme Regis and learned to sail with Lyme Regis Sailing Club’s youth section. Their father Pete ran the club launch, while his grandad, Ron Crabb, was well known at the harbour skippering his fishing boat the ‘Swan’.

Chris started his first boat building workshop at the former garage in Coombe Street – now the Largigi Rooms. He is now managing director of Ovington Boats, based on the Tyne and in Weymouth, and lives with his family in Uplyme.

Chris is a national and international champion in various sailing dinghy classes and is now helping aspiring youth members of Lyme Regis Sailing Club into racing by sponsoring new ILCA dinghies, formerly known as Lasers.

Last year, two promising youth sailors who did not own their own dinghy, were given use of Academy ILCAs by Chris for a year, complete with the latest kit.

Both made excellent progress, with coaching from Graham Cook on and off the water, mentoring from Chris and coach Jerry Rook.

Other young sailors were attracted to the group and by the end of 2021, there were seven competent ILCA youths taking part in some of the club winter series.

 This year, the club has been awarded two more Academy ILCAs from Chris, plus a deal on upgrading the club ILCAs to new ones with a grant from the George Eyre Trust.

This provides opportunities for more youth sailors to move into race training before committing to investing in their own boats.

“Having this support from Chris has meant we’ve been able to build up a very keen group who help each other and enjoy learning in all conditions,” said youth section co-ordinator Sally Holman.

“The essential factors have come together – enthusiastic young sailors, sponsorship and mentoring from Chris, top class individual coaching, keen parental support and skilled training teams – to make sailing at club level a rewarding experience.

“We are looking forward to all our youth training groups starting after Easter.”

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