Lyme Regis youth sailors impress as they compete against the more experienced

Rigging on the slipway – Lyme Regis Sailing Club youth members Ben, Ferdy, Josh, Elliott, Tom and Ed

LYME Regis Sailing Club’s youth race training group merged with club racers on Sunday for the first of the Brass Monkeys series.

They crewed seven of the 12-dinghy total, six as helms, and gave the adults close competition.

An ad hoc series of short races followed, allowing further practice for those new to a larger fleet.

Starting now, with fewer boats on the start line, is a good introduction to racing and coaches Jerry Rook and Graham Cook intend to continue the merger as several youth members are already keen racers.

An off-shore north-westerly shift wind was deceptive from the shelter of the Cobb, but a keen breeze and some lovely rolling waves made for great racing.

Jerry and Stefan set a windward/leeward course, monitored from the club deck by Dave Law and assistants.

Brass Monkeys 1 and 2.

Even without any reaches, Tim O’Toole and Simon Law (Albacore, 3, 1) made a close second to Graham Cook (ILCA 1, 2) in the Brass Monkeys. They were chased by young Ferdy (ILCA 5, 3) who only let Graham through at a wide rounding of the leeward mark in Race 2, while Tom (ILCA 2, 6.5) came close in Race 1.

Not far behind were Josh, (ILCA 6, 6.5), Ben (7, 10) and Ed (8, 9) and newcomer to racing Elliot (11, 11).

The short races followed with Tim and Simon gained firsts in both, with Graham second in Race 1 and Tom (5, 2) and Ferdy (7, 3) next.

All the youth sailors came in ahead of the remaining adults, though Mike Pridham and Dave Guthrie missed the final race.

The club has a strong youth race team, helped by coaching from top sailors Jerry and Graham, building on their previous progression through the club’s youth section.

A boost from the loan of two International Laser Class Association boats from Lyme Regis resident Chris Turner, of Ovington’s, attendance at Royal Yachting Association courses and youth nationals gives a strong base for the coming season.

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