Sailing club’s youth section hosts annual prize-giving

Lyme Regis Sailing Club youth section prizewinners (photo by David Beer)

YOUTH section members of Lyme Regis Sailing Club held their annual prize-giving on Saturday evening, before enjoying the town’s fireworks display with their families. 

Sailing club secretary Sally Holman said: “It has been a successful season with all 21 young sailors, beginners and improvers, coached on Tuesdays from Easter to July by Grahame Forshaw, Jim Thomas and an adult and older youth volunteer team, invited to progress to the Saturday morning youth group.

“We’ve certainly has a rewarding year all round, a strong youth contingent coming through the club, good for the future!”

After a further year or two of training on Saturday morning, the more skilled members will be offered race tuition on Saturday afternoons with Jerry Rook. Theory and shore work underpin the practical training along the lines approved by the RYA, with certified instructors.

This year, nine young sailors took part in the Firefly Nationals held at the club and gained valuable racing experience. Bart’s Bash in September saw two single-handers, Josh Connelly and Elliot Samons, joining in a 12-mile race with a full club fleet, both for the first time, while others participated as crews.

Natasha Dower and Ferdy Parry Leyshon won the cups for best youth in club racing and first youth in the club regatta. 

The club’s youth section has been operating for almost 50 years, some of the trophies first used in 1947, with this year’s group following a long tradition. There is also an Optimist youth group, some taking part in area open meetings, run by Dave Stubbs.

Eileen and Colin Walters, stalwarts of the youth section, with Seamanship Trophy winner Simon Law (photo by David Beer)

Colin Walters, who has coached a great many youth members during his long sailing career, both at Datchet Water and Lyme, learnt to sail himself here as a youngster. He continues to race competitively and this year he presented the prizes.

Sally added: “Colin’s contribution to youth sailing has been remarkable, but he and his wife Eileen will be leaving to be nearer their family. Colin was presented with a club burgee, and Eileen with a bouquet from the youth section and warmly applauded.

“He will remain a frequent visitor, sailing his Albacore at the club next season.”

The coveted Seamanship Trophy, for most competent youth helm also showing good all-round Seamanship skills, was awarded to Simon Law. Simon regularly sails his Laser when he’s not crewing for Colin and helps run the committee boat for youth sessions.

Simon thanked the adult team for running the youth training sessions and Colin and Eileen for their encouragement.

The full list of winners was as follows: Teamwork Trophy – Sophie and Analise Cuthbert; Personal Challenge Mug – Harvey Cackett; Single-Handed Trophy – Ariana Finn; Special Mention Plate – Elliot Samons; Special Mention Trophy – Louis Parry Leyshon and Frankie Remington; Novices Trophy – Josh Connelly; Junior Challenge Cup – Natasha Dower; Rotary Cup for best youth achievement in club racing – Ferdy Parry Leyshon; Seamanship Trophy – Simon Law; Wooden Spoon – Josh Connelly.

Four beginners have already signed up for Tuesday evenings in 2020 with only one or two places remaining. Competent youth sailors are also able to apply to the Saturday group.

The youth section encourages sailing for pleasure as well as for racing. For more details, visit the website www.lymeregissailingclub.co.uk

The club’s annual general meeting will be held on Saturday, November 9 and the annual dinner and prize-giving the following Saturday.

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