OYT South Sailing

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OYT South bulletin 5th August 2005

John Laing safe and well in Norway

The second race of the Tall Ships series, from Newcastle to Fredrikstad, proved to be exceptionally testing, with adverse winds and big seas for several days. Forty eight vessels – far more than half the fleet – retired from the race; but John Laing yet again proved what a great boat she is, battling through to finish. Huge congratulations are due to sea staff and crew: skipper Wolf says that it was one of the most testing trips for young crew members that he has ever done, and they all did amazingly well to get through it. More details in Voyage News section below.

Urgent notices

Adult voyages
We still need to fill some more spaces on adult voyages in September, as follows:
12-16 September, Southampton, £200
16-18 September, Southampton, £100
Can I urge all sea staff, prospective sea staff plus crew members aged over 16 who are keen to sail more, to look at whether you can do one of these trips. It’s a fantastic opportunity to brush up your own skills and have a fun, sociable voyage. Please come and join us! Email me or call 07986 354697 to find out more.

Southampton Boat Show
Volunteers still needed for the OYT South stand at the Boat Show from 16-25 September. Spend a few hours helping out and then get a chance to look round the rest of this spectacular event. If you can spare any time to come along, call David Salmon on 0870 241 2252 or email office@oytsouth.org.

Marketing days
We’re still aiming to run a day sail on Sunday 11th September for prospective clients, donors etc. to come and look round the boat. If you know anyone who might be interested, call 0870 241 2252. If we can’t fill all the spaces with clients and donors, then it’s an opportunity for sea staff, shore staff and other OYT South supporters to come out for the day – perhaps even bringing family members. If you’re a shore supporter who seldom sees the boat in action, would you like to come along for a few hours? If you are the long-suffering partner of a member of sea staff who keeps abandoning you to go sailing, would you like to come along and have a taste of what they get up to?
 
Empty voyages
One of the great successes of 2005 has been that so far, we have not had to cancel a single voyage due to lack of bookings. It will be fantastic if we can keep this record up till the end of the season. Although we do have spaces left on a number of trips, there are only three which still definitely need more bookings in order to run at all: 10-14 Oct (£210); 15-20 Oct (£225) and 1-5 Nov (£160) – can everyone make a huge effort to try and drum up interest in these voyages?

Voyage news

The latest voyage began with a spectacular experience in Newcastle – one of the biggest fireworks displays Wolf has ever seen. They were all being let off from barges in the river, so it felt as though the boats were right in the middle of the excitement. The crowds on shore were so immense that it was impossible to walk around - two crew members were actaully unable to join the boat at all until the congestion dies down.

The next day saw the parade of sail and the beginning of the race. John Laing got a good start, battling with two other OYT boats, Lord Rank and Alba Venturer, on the line. But the weather was very bad and the seas were huge – one crew member threw up five times even before they reached the start line. By day two of the race, a couple of dozen vessels had already retired. Things were very tough on board John Laing: a lot of people were seasick, and for some time only eight people were able to work effectively. The boat took a bit of a battering, particularly our rather elderly sails. A direct course to waypoint one would have been 160 nautical miles, but John Laing sailed 340 miles to get there. Wolf says that everyone did incredibly well to keep the boat going in these conditions.

Waypoint two was just off the coast of Norway and as they reached it, the wind died away to nothing. The crew started getting depressed when they were overtaken by a seagull – swimming. It got even worse when the next thing to overtake them was a lighthouse: John Laing was going backwards with the tide. At one stage Wolf had the entire crew sitting on the rail trying to get the boat to heel, to coax a tiny bit of speed out the hull (to assess the chances of this working, I have calculated that John Laing weighs roughly the equivalent of 800 average-sized crew members). Being becalmed was enlivened only by one crew member (who shall remain nameless) endeavouring to mash the potatoes before boiling them.

The following morning brought more wind and the boat finally started performing at her best: ten hours with an average speed of ten knots and a maximum speed of thirteen and a half knots – and all this with the tiny No. 3 headsail as the other sails were out of action.

By the end of the race, 48 boats had retired, and only 38 succeeded in finishing – so it was a great achievement for John Laing to complete the course – huge congratulations to everyone on board. Better still, they managed to come 7th in class and 28th overall, a really creditable result. The full course had been set at 450 miles, but they sailed a total of 752 miles!

The Norwegian coast is amazingly beautiful – Wolf says it is rather like Scotland but the beer is infinitely more expensive. On the first night in Norway, they had a barbecue which bosun Julia Davies was in charge of cooking. Unfortunately Wolf forgot to tell her that he had invited Lord Rank's crew as well, so she was cooking for 40 people…(In telling me this story, Wolf was reminded of an episode on the previous trip. Cathy Lacey was doing her second mate’s assessment, part of which is to demonstrate an ability to organise fun and games in harbour. Wolf got her to organise a rowing competition, and then failed to mention that he had invited ten other boats to join in…Tip: never do a mates assessment with Wolf during the Tall Ships).

The crew for this voyage are leaving the boat over today and tomorrow. Very well done to all of them, and particular thanks to the sea staff: Wolf, John Parkin, Dinghy Boy, Tim Deverson and Julia.

Sea staff vacancies

First mates still needed for: 19-23 Sept; 24-30 Sept; 15-20 Oct; 26-31 Oct; 1-5 Nov.

Second mates needed for: 12-16 Sept (adult fam voyage); 16-18 Sept (mates training); 26-31 Oct; 1-5 Nov.

Third mate possibly needed for 3-8 Sept, though I have had a potential offer for this berth and am waiting to see if she can confirm.

Email me or call 07986 354697 if you can help!

Crew bookings

Current vacancies as follows:

JL05-40: 4 nights, 12-16 Sept, Southampton, £200 – several spaces (adults 16+ only)
JL05-41: 2 nights, 16-18 Sept, Southampton, £100 – a few spaces (adults 16+ only)
JL05-42: 4 nights, 19-23 Sep, Southampton, £220 – 4 berths left
JL05-47: 4 nights, 10-14 Oct, Southampton, £210 (whole boat group booking available)
JL05-48: 5 nights, 15-20 Oct, Southampton, £225 – 10 berths left
JL05-49: 4 nights, 21-25 Oct, Southampton, £200 – 6 berths left
JL05-51: 4 nights, 1-5 Nov, Southampton, £160 -11 berths left

For information on latest vacancies, please contact the office on 0870 241 2252, or email office@oytsouth.org.

We are now taking bookings on the 2006 programme, also available from the office, or on the website at www.oytsouth.org.

Dates for your diaries

10th and 11th September: more John Laing Open Days.

Friday 16th Sept: OYT South annual dinner, Royal Southern YC, Hamble, held jointly with two local children’s hospices. Tickets £65 each.

16th – 25th September: Southampton Boat Show: volunteers needed for the OYT South stand.

Saturday 1st October: John Laing maintenance day, Southampton (call Wolf 07771 771864).

Saturday 5th November: End of season party and possible other weekend activities tbc. Individuals welcome aged 18+; crew members under 18 who have sailed this year and would like to keep in touch are welcome to come to the weekend with a parent or group leader.

For more information on any of this, email me or contact the office on 0870 241 2252, office@oytsouth.org.

People News

Following the news of Si Holman’s degree success in last week’s bulletin, I’ve now heard that Sarah Tredinnick (aka Tee Hee) has also just graduated with a 2:2 – missing a 2:1 by the narrowest of margins. She’s currently working in a temporary job for the probation service in the Liverpool magistrates and crown courts; but planning to go on to do teacher training – as well as learning to sail the Mirror dinghy which her boyfriend has given her!

Third mate Jamie Seymour has been getting into some serious yacht racing – he’s been at Cowes this week; and is going on to do the Fastnet race is a Sigma 38, Festina Lente. Latest weather reports suggest no wind at the start of the race and far too much later on; however, he is looking forward to testing his new oilskins….Jamie is sailing in John Laing again in September and we are all looking forward to demonstrations of lightning spinnaker peels (only joking).

And another third mate, Lucie Williams, is about to return to the UK after several months in France, and should also be back on board John Laing in September, before looking for a proper job for a year. And after that: “am hoping to buy a small little boat and sail around the UK for 3-4 months next summer.” I am jealous….

Don’t forget the OYT South link to Amazon!
At the bottom of the OYT South home page (http://www.oytsouth.org/) is a link to Amazon. Use this link whenever you order anything from Amazon and they will give a percentage of the price to OYT South funds. We’ve just had £48 from them, so well done and keep shopping, everyone!

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“This has been one of the best experiences of my life and I will never forget it.” Sam, aged 16

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