A record number of competitors, over 180, enjoyed glorious sailing conditions on The Solent at this year's Youth Week regatta (August 15-19) hosted by Royal Lymington Yacht Club and run by its members and volunteers.
Lymington Yacht Haven is a long term supporter of Wednesday Junior Sailing, the RLymYC's successful local community sailing programme, which has produced the odd Olympian over the last six decades.
Monday 15 August was indisputably one of the best opening days of Youth Week for some time. It was also the Sail for Gold Roadshow day with coaching by members of the British Sailing Team on the water. The RLymYC celebrated the Olympic sailing medal races in Rio, Brazil with its own 'medal races' sailed in the river off the club featuring British Sailing team members and the higher scoring Youth Week sailors of the day. Sadly, local hero and RLymYC member Nick Thompson was not successful in his bid to win a medal in the Laser class at the Games (see image gallery below for Youth Week's show of support!).
Youth Week competitors enjoyed warm sunshine for four days out of five and 'sailing friendly' breezes of 12 – 15 knots, with the occasional period of very light winds.
Jenny Wilson, Principal Race Officer and her race management team ran four separate fleets in the Solent and its lakes. The brilliant sunshine and near perfect wind kicked-in each morning with all fleets enjoying some challenging racing.
Commenting on Youth Week 2016, Principal Race Officer, Jenny Wilson said: "The Race Officers were delighted to see such enthusiasm this year from many of the young sailors keen to get out on the water with strong opposition from other competitors. The racing was of a high standard in all fleets and the improved confidence of many was heartening to see as the week progressed, with improvements in boat handling and crew management during racing.
Continued Wilson: "It is gratifying for the race teams to see just how many Club members and volunteers turned out to help in safety, mark laying and coaching ribs. It takes over 100 on the water volunteers to run this event and we are indebted to the commitment and enthusiasm of our volunteers.
Sally Kalis, wife of Lymington Yacht Haven founder, Dirk Kalis and the new UK National Laser Champion, Hannah Snellgrove, presented trophies and prizes. Miss Kelly Burgess, manager of Joules in Lymington, presented the Joules Trophy to Kate Wharmby for the best helm in own boat.
- Joules Trophy: Kate Wharmby best helm in own boat
- Dirk and Sally Kalis Trophy: Harry West (aged 8 years) for the young competitor who has embraced the competitive opportunity of racing on the water
- Christian Cup: 1st Overall White Scow winning the Christian Cup was Annabelle Vines, Sam Webb, Toby Hamilton & Ollie Vines
- Witherby Cup: Scow WJS Fleet Alice Wood, Henry Wood & Samuel Dockill
- Scow Fleet Highest placed girl helm: Alice Wood
- Optimist Bronze Fleet – highest placed sailor under ten years of age in RLymYC Club boat: Harry West
- Optimist Bronze Fleet – Winner in Private Boat: Cameron Bignold-Kyles
- Silver Fleet RS Tera Sport Class: Henry Patten
- Silver Fleet Optimist Class: Ella Lightbody - winning the Stuart Jardine Cup.
- Gold Fleet PY Fleet: 1st Santi Sesto-Cosby - winning the Frier Jardine Cup
- Gold Fleet RS Tera / Vision Fleet: 1st Kate Wharmby - winning the New York Club Plate
- The Youngest competitor was Harry Baddeley (aged 8) winning the Shrimp Cup
- The AJ Slipway Trophy for the most helpful sailor of the week was awarded to Ewan Horn by The Beach Master, Sebastian Chamberlain
- The Wednesday Trophy for the Best Wednesday Junior Sailor was awarded to Peter Bennett, who won the WJS Scow Red Fleet series of 15 races, crewed by Lauren Fox and Siri Taylor.
- The Oliver's Boat Trophy for the 'Spirit of the Regatta' was awarded to PRO Jenny Wilson in recognition of over three decades of commitment to Youth Week. For over 25 years she has been ensuring the safety of competitors whilst delivering the best possible racing.
Click to enlarge and scroll (Photo credits to Clare Carden and Justin Parry)