2006 Cowes Small Ships race (photo: Tracey Tyerman)


OYT South bulletin 13th October 2006

In this Bulletin

Welcome to new readers

A lot of new readers on the mailing list this week, including all those who signed up at the Southampton Boat Show, plus some names added through revising and improving our database. If you are reading the OYT South newsletter for the first time, I hope you will find it useful and interesting, and filled with opportunities for things you will want to get involved in. Please feel free to join in any OYT South activities - nothing here is restricted to longstanding members or people who already know one another. New people are always very welcome!

If you feel that you don't yet know much about OYT South, you will learn more by keeping a regular eye on these newsletters; but for a lot of background information, take a look around the rest of this website.
If you are aged 12-25 and hoping to sail as a crew member, take a look here.

Adults interested in joining our volunteer sea staff can check here.

To volunteer for OYT South ashore, please look here.

And if you have any questions, please do reply to this newsletter - or contact the office on 0870 241 2252.

Job advertisement: OYT South staff bosun (closing date for applications 25th October)

As reported in last week’s newsletter, our staff bosun, Julian "Dinghy Boy" Watkins, has decided that the time has come to leave the job and move on. OYT South is therefore seeking applications for the role of Staff Bosun.

The staff bosun's role involves boat maintenance under the supervision of the staff skipper. From November to March, the bosun will work on John Laing's annual refit. During the sailing season, the bosun sails on board John Laing on a working pattern of approximately four weeks on and two weeks off.

The successful applicant will be aged 18+ and will have an interest in and empathy for working with young people from a wide variety of backgrounds. The bosun will also be required to work with volunteer watch leaders and other OYT South supporters, including the marine engineer.

An enthusiasm and proven ability for making and fixing things will be essential. Applicants will ideally have some experience of boat maintenance, sail training and sailing generally, and prior experience as a bosun, volunteer bosun or refit volunteer is desirable; but the job will incorporate substantial training and can be used as an entry point to the sail training industry.

The bosun will also be required to keep maintenance records and must therefore have basic numeracy and literacy skills.

We will expect the bosun to qualify as a watch leader fairly quickly and be competent to lead a watch of young people on an occasional basis. RYA cruising qualifications (Competent Crew and above) will be an advantage but not essential.

Salary is expected to be in the range £9,300 to £11,200 depending on age and experience, plus additional benefits.

A satisfactory criminal records bureau enhanced check will be required. A clean driving licence is desirable. The successful candidate will need to pass a medical.

Energy, enthusiasm and a sense of humour will all be real advantages in a demanding and responsible role.

Apply with CV and covering letter, including contact details for at least 2 referees, covering  professional/educational and personal experience over the last 5 years to: David Salmon, OYT South General Manager, preferably by email, or by post to PO Box 203, GOSPORT, PO12 9AZ Telephone 0870 241 2252 if further information is required. Closing date for applications 25th October 2006. Applicants should ideally be available to start work in mid-November 2006.

2007 voyage programme

NOW AVAILABLE here. Hundreds of exciting sailing opportunities, from local trips to adventures overseas, including the 2007 Tall Ships race series in the Baltic and two shorter Small Ships races. Weekends up to 2-week trips; voyages for young people (12-25) or adults (16+); training voyages for prospective volunteer sea staff; opportunities for individuals and groups. Some voyages have already been sold - bookings are being taken NOW so please start making your bookings for next year!

End of season party - Sunday 5th November

The final voyage of the 2006 sailing season ends on Sunday 5th November. There will be a gathering on the boat that evening for anyone who wants to come along and celebrate another great season - ideal for old friends or new people who want to come along and say hello. More details to come in a future newsletter, but please put the date in your diary NOW!

Refit appeal

We are currently undertaking our annual appeal to raise money for this winter's vessel refit, to get John Laing in good condition for next year's voyages. Please send your donations to the office: David Salmon, General Manager, Ocean Youth Trust South, PO Box 203, GOSPORT PO12 9AZ. Taxpayers can use a Gift Aid form to make your gift worth even more to us - download a form here. And if you have any contacts at all in companies, trusts or clubs which might make a charitable donation, please email me with details so that we can make an application.

Funding idea for young people - Youth Opportunity Fund

Steve Lacey suggests that groups of young people looking for ways of funding their voyage for next year might like to investigate the Youth Opportunity Fund. This is designed to help projects where young people get together to organise activities for people aged 13-19 in their local area. You can find a factsheet here.

Voyage News
Last weekend we took part in the ASTO Small Ships' Race - a Cowes-based event open to sailing vessels up to 120ft in length with at least half the crew aged 15-25.

We had a crew including seven people from the Cobnor Activities Centre and two from Chichester High School. The skipper was Martin Clough at the weekend, with Nick Crawford stepping in to run pre-race training on the Friday, with sea staff Vikki Maxwell, John Snowden, Joe Parker and Dings, and the spare places were filled by Jonathan Cheshire, Sail Training International Race Director Paul Bishop, Matt Bland and Becca Causer.

Friday's race training was severely hindered by strong winds: Force 8 gusting 9 all day. Nonetheless John Laing did go out - despite meeting the Clipper fleet heading in under storm sails! The day finished in Cowes, where skipper Martin joined, spending the evening with the crew doing race briefings and making plans.

On Saturday morning they were all up at 0600 and setting off shortly after 0700 to practice tacking and gybing in much better weather: force 5 to 6 and John Laing in her element. With so many chiefs in the cockpit, John Snowden and Dings retired to the foredeck and didn't leave for the rest of the day!

They had a good start, with the first leg being both downwind and downtide (for those readers who are used to racing under sail, the idea of a downwind start may seem odd, but it seems to be common practice in both Small Ships and Tall Ships races). The turning mark saw an excellent racing headsail change; and the second, upwind leg was ideal for John Laing, as she made very good speeds and overhauled a lot of other vessels. The third leg took them very close inshore by Gurnard Ledge in order to get out of the adverse tide, and John Laing eventually crossed the line in fifth place. Sadly the handicap system then came into play, and John Laing slipped back to two-thirds of the way down the fleet on corrected time. Winner over the line in our class was the London Sailing Project's Rona II; the overall winner on handicap was Dauntsey's School's Jolie Brise.

You can find some excellent photos of the race by Tracey Tyerman here - as well as news about next year's small ships races and how to take part if you are aged 15-25.

Paul Bishop emailed afterwards to say: "Just a brief note to thank you for inviting me onto John Laing for the Small Ships Race last weekend. Having first sailed with the OYC at the age of 14, and having not sailed on an OYT boat since 1992, the experience has lost none of its magic and I had a terrific time! The young crew were great and I was most impressed with your volunteers…Martin (the skipper) was of course the complete professional. Please pass my thanks onto all concerned."

John Snowden, Matt Bland and Dings stayed on board this week doing maintenance; and they also had a visit from the girls from Chichester High School who will be doing a voyage next year, to look round the boat and do some pre-voyage training.

Website - competition

I’m still running the caption competition, for the pictures of our volunteer and relief sea staff here. Well done to John Clack for being the first person to send in his own caption; but I need lots more. It doesn't matter whether you write about yourself or someone else. I'm just looking for one or two sentences, informative, descriptive, or witty, about any members of sea staff you know, to go alongside their photo. I also need photos for those sea staff not yet included - and better pictures of anyone who hates the one I have used! All contributions by email to me.

Sea staff and prospective sea staff

No more sea staff vacancies this season, unless anyone has to drop out at the last minute. I'll start thinking about bookings for next season once the refit gets under way - as most of you know, those who help most at refit get first priority with bookings on the most popular trips. We've got a very strong list of people who want assessments next year and I'll be trying to fit in as many as possible.

For those of you who are new to the organisation, or who have only recently been recommended for sea staff, dates for adult training voyages next season are:

30 Mar-1 April (£150)
17-22 April (£275)
7-9 Sept (£150)
10-14 Sept (£275)

Prices include £30 annual membership and £70 mates sailing fee - which means that any other voyages you do in 2007 would be free! Anyone new to the organisation who wants to get to know the boat, see how we work and find out whether you would enjoy being a member of volunteer sea staff should book on one of these trips - email me to book.

All these training voyages are also open to current qualified sea staff who are looking to make progress, brush up on a few skills or practice something they don’t often get a chance to do - as well as helping us introduce the new people to John Laing and OYT South.

Prospective sea staff who are hoping to sail next season: please note that to sail with young people, you must complete an OYT South application form, providing references, and have clearance from the Criminal Records Bureau. If you aren't familiar with this system, it is perfectly straightforward but it can take weeks or even a few months for the CRB to deal with your form, so it's well worth starting the process before the end of this year to ensure that you are ready to take up any opportunities to sail from the start of next season. Email Brian Eyres for application forms.

Shorebased training for sea staff
We are starting to think about training courses to be run over the winter - either on the AGM weekend in February, or at other times. Before we arrange specific courses, it would be useful to have some idea of the likely level of demand. Please email me if you would be interested in any of the following:

* RYA Powerboat level 2 (two day course, required for driving John Laing's dinghy, especially useful for relief bosuns but valuable for all sea staff)
* RYA Sea Survival (recommended for all - this is the course on which you can practice setting off flares, and try using a liferaft in a swimming pool)
* GMDSS / VHF radio (recommended for all; compulsory for second mates and above)
* First aid (recommended for all; compulsory for second mates and above. NB certificates only valid for three years – will yours expire in the next year?)
* Radar (recommended for 2M and above)
* Food hygiene (recommended for all)

Please also let me know if there are other relevant courses you would like, and I’ll look into organising anything else if there is sufficient interest.

For those who are particularly keen to do the Sea Survival course, Yvonne Taylor occasionally has vacancies on her courses - call her on 07785 335189 for more information.

Don't forget the OYT South link to Amazon - click on the Amazon logo here and a proportion of any money you spend will be donated to us - at no extra cost to you!

“I had a very good time and I learned a lot – nice to meet you all!” Hollie, aged 15