The RYA Youth Nationals were held at Hayling Island SC last week and 380 young sailors took part. On the water the race teams ran four course areas with 70 Volunteers making sure everything from launching to positioning race marks went smoothly.
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All of this depends on the HISC back-of-house teams (The Crew) providing a seamless service. Marine Manager Mitch Webb and his team were responsible for making sure that the on water action went off without a hitch.
RYA Youth Nationals
Day 1 and the Marine Team were in bright and early to fuel our 11 ribs. Our next job was to ferry the race crews out to the fleet of 40 plus ribs and committee boats on moorings. By making use of the three ribs assigned to the Jury teams we were able to have four boats shuttling people out to ribs. Day one is also when you find out what is missing! Just a Blue Pin End Buoy to run out to Juno, Finish Boat for the Laser course.
Soon after the safety fleet was mobilised all the fleets were released and set sail. It was an incredible sight to see the fleet leave the harbour, flying spinnakers. The radios crackled away as Mark Layers and Race Officers plotted were to lay their courses.
We then received word that Lady G had had a major Anchor Windlass Failure. With all our ribs on the water Clive and I managed to borrow am RYA rib to head out to the Bay. On inspection we found the windlass motor had come unattached. We fixed it the best we could but knew it wouldn’t last the week.
Thankfully, the team at Lewmar confirmed they were able to drop a new windlass down to us that day. We also had the odd missing flag and a faulty rib to see to overnight as well as the nightly fuel run to restock.
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Day 2 got off to a smooth start. The event volunteers were now familiar with the process of getting out to the moorings and small fleet of ferries managed to keep up with demand. Whilst the sailors were out on the water the Crew were busy trying to keep up with restocking and keeping the site looking presentable.
The call came through that Gyrinius, a committee boat had a ‘mechanical’. The RYA shorecrew took the her into Sparkes whilst we assisted with contacting our local Hydraulic contractors to see if any were able to assist. The RYA team had a late night but were all fixed and ready to go for the morning.
It's now day 4 of the RYA Youth Nationals and we have been very busy. The day starts at 4 am when the house keepers arrive to start the mammoth task of getting the Club back into order for the day ahead. Then arrives John the Chef to prepare for a full breakfast serving at 7.30 am where some 70 Volunteers pile through the doors.
I am on site around 7 am planning and preparing all the boats for the days action and the lovely office team open the reception ready to man the buzzer from 7.
First start has been at 11 am each day and we have had everyone off the beach and out on the race course in time. There have been a few spanners in the works but nothing we have not been able to fix overnight. The biggest challenge was to get Lady G a new windlass fitted overnight.
Today was a bit different from normal in that we had a visit from HRH Princess Anne.
This would be the day when the fleet were held ashore whilst we waited for the wind to fill. Eventually the sailors left the shore and we had a mad tidy around to try and remove all the sand and rubbish they had left behind.
Once the sniffer dogs had been through the club, HRH arrived and met the local dignitaries and our very own Commodore, Trustees and rear Commodore Youth. A quick change of clothing and HRH was delivered to Selene to be transferred over to the Wet Wheels catamaran to watch the racing.
HRH gets some unplanned launching assistance
The boss had assigned the job of driving Selene to me and once the entourage had boarded Selene we had a few moments of slight concern when the boat grounded out and refused to reverse off the beach. Marcus Rogers saved the day by getting his feet wet and pushing us off ! So now we can say that Selene is good enough for a Royal visit.
The end of the day starts around 4 pm when the first sailors come ashore and straight into the snack bar for the RYA supplied pasta. We start to recover the ribs and the Volunteers and get the boats fuelled for the next day. Work is finished at around 7 pm when I retire to the bar for a swift pint and then home to bed.
Tomorrow is the last day of racing and we will begin the task of putting all the club dinghies back into the dinghy park ready for the Club Easter Pennant Racing Weekend . . .
The Marine Team at HISC comprise: Mitch Webb, Jake Edmonds, Clive Rimmer and Alex Henry.
Mark Nicholls, Event Director, said: “It’s been an absolutely fantastic week at Hayling Island. The club and the volunteers are outstanding and have really supported a wonderful event."
“The weather has cooperated and the standard of sailing has been the highest I think I’ve ever seen. It’s been a brilliant event."
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17 April 2017 8:32 GMT