Voyage to Kiel (photo: John Parkin)


OYT South bulletin 24th August 2007

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last week marked *

Crew needed urgently
The voyage from 10-14 September is in danger of being cancelled after a provisional reservation from a group wasn't confirmed and we have been unable so far to find another crew. Cancellation will be tough on sea staff who have booked holiday to sail - please help us fill spaces if you can! Bursary funding may well be available for those who can't otherwise afford to sail.

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Voyage vacancies and bursaries
Bursary funding may well be available for these voyages, so no-one should be deterred from applying by the cost - talk to the office on 0845 365 6781 if you would like to apply for a grant.

4-6 Sept: this has been CANCELLED (only one booking).
10-14 Sept: Southampton £275 (age 12-25) - 12 places left
27 Sept - 1 Oct: Southampton £220 - 4 places left.

2-7 October: Southampton £325 (age 12-25) - 10 places left - ASTO Small Ships Race (we need to defend the trophy we won in June!)
OR join only part of this voyage:
2-5 Oct: Southampton £175 - 10 places left
5-7 Oct: Southampton £150 - 10 places left - RACE WEEKEND

8-12 Oct: Southampton £240 (age 12-25) - 3 places left
15-19 Oct: Southampton £250 (age 12-25) - 6 places left

HURRY - if you want to book a berth, contact the office as soon as possible.

For UK-based voyages, see here.
Small Ships race (October 2-7), see here.
Duke of Edinburgh Gold Residential projects, see here:
Bursary funding, see here.
For more information about Tall Ships 2008, see here.
And special funding for crew members from outside the UK.

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ASTO race - possible new weekend voyage
As you can see above, we have ten berths still available to defend our title in the October ASTO Small Ships Race - which means we don't yet have enough crew to compete.

This voyage was originally planned to include three days of training before the race, which takes place on Saturday October 6th. It may be that this has ruled out interest from all those at school, college or university, which would explain the low take-up.

One option which would avoid us having to pull out of the race altogether would be to split the voyage and open up the possibility of having some crew joining John Laing on the Friday night, to race on Saturday, enjoy the events on Saturday night, and bring the vessel back to Southampton on Sunday. This could be an ideal opportunity for some keen sailors - perhaps people who have sailed in John Laing before, or who already have racing experience in dinghies or yachts. Crew members must be aged 12-25. Price £150 before any bursary funding. If you cannot do the full 2-7 October voyage but would be interested in joining us for Friday night and the weekend, please email me NOW.

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Sea staff vacancies - please fill the season's last few gaps

Current vacancies (all Southampton-Southampton unless otherwise stated) are:

27 Sept-1 Oct: second mate needed
8-12 Oct: first and second OR third mates needed

15-19 Oct: second mate needed, OR experienced third mate
25-30 Oct: first mate needed

 Email me if you can help.

Please note that you should have paid your annual membership (£30) and annual sailing donation (£70) before you can book, and you MUST have a CRB check.

And those over 65 or with known health problems must also now have an ENG1 medical before you can sail - let me know if you need advice or information about arranging this. It does need to be an ENG1 and not any other kind of medical - please don't rush off and spend money on an ML5 or anything else. ENG1s need to be done by an MCA-approved doctor, not by your own GP. 

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Voyage news

The Roundwood group (a north London youth group) - one of our most longstanding clients - made their annual appearance this week and were as enthusiastic and well-prepared as ever. They had travelled to Germany a day early and had a few adventures and an overnight stay in Hamburg before joining John Laing in Kiel, where they stayed for the first night of the voyage. On Friday they completed the first half of the Kiel Canal passage and stopped for some time ashore in Rendsburg before completing the canal on Friday.

At the North Sea end of the canal, they voted against the easy and obvious options for the next stop and instead went to Heligoland, a tiny island 30 miles offshore - now German but previously under Danish and even British rule. It's now tax-exempt and most of its half-mile length is crammed with duty-free shops. Having arrived around midnight on Saturday, the crew spent Sunday morning ashore before undertaking a 150nm passage to Den Helder, in perfect weather - sunshine and a good following breeze, enabling them to complete much of the trip at speeds of eight or nine knots, until the wind died overnight and they had to motor, arriving at lunchtime on Monday. They enjoyed an afternoon ashore, and then began another long passage across the North Sea on Tuesday. This started with a decent sailing breeze but gradually increased until they had a Force 8 gale - fortunately from aft of the beam, allowing some spectacular sailing and a boat speed that reached 13 knots. This meant that they reached Woolverstone Marina outside Ipswich at 4am, rather than 10am as anticipated. Back in the UK after two months overseas!

Skipper Dave Carnson said this was another superb group, with excellent leaders in Peter and Jane. All the young people earned RYA Competent Crew certificates. Margaret Smith, who normally leads this group, came to pick them up in Ipswich and everyone left the boat delighted with what they had achieved.

Thanks to sea staff Dave, Laura, John Smith, Andy Shuttleworth, Annant Shah and special congratulations to Ben Martin who passed his second mate's assessment during the voyage.

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John Laing
on MySpace and Facebook
John Laing is on both MySpace and Facebook , both brilliant ways for crew members, sea staff and other friends and supporters to keep in touch, contact each other, or spread the word among other people about OYT South voyages. Have a look, and come and be one of John Laing's friends - and tell all YOUR friends about us!

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2008 draft voyage programme 
A draft version of the 2008 voyage programme is now available here. It will give you an idea of what we are planning for next year, but it is not yet set in stone - if your group is hoping for a voyage on specific dates and the draft programme doesn't suit your plans, contact the office NOW on 0845 365 6781 and we'll see if it's possible to adjust the programme to create a voyage to suit you.

Many costs listed here are discounted early-booker prices, available for any bookings confirmed with the office by 31st August 2007. Some prices will increase after this date.

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Chris Ellis Award
Don't forget to enter for the Chris Ellis Award - you could win up to £200 off the price of your next voyage. This competition is open to any crew members aged 12-25. All you need to do is produce a piece of work based on your last voyage: an essay, diary, logbook, picture, computer art or anything else you like - there are no restrictions as long as your entry gives an idea of what you last voyage meant to you and why you would like to sail again. The closing date for entries is 1 December 2007 but please start sending your entries sooner, while your voyage is fresh in your mind. Electronic entries (preferable) should be emailed to me; hard copies if necessary should be posted to the office: PO Box 203, Gosport, Hampshire PO12 9AZ.

Chris Ellis was one of the founders of the Ocean Youth Club, in 1960. His family is still very interested in seeing any entries.

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OYT South Annual Supper
The OYT South West Sussex support group has kindly offered once again to organise our annual supper party for OYT South supporters. It will take place on the evening of Friday 14th September in Chichester Yacht Club, Birdham, at a cost of £35 per head (or a discounted rate of £260 for a table of eight people). There are also limited supplies of £20 “student specials“ for those not earning.

Our special guest this year is Merfyn Owen, the internationally renowned yacht designer who was responsible for Ellen Macarthur's record breaking yachts. He is also an ex-Ocean Youth Club skipper, and a skipper of one of the BT Global Challenge yachts.

Please put this date in your diary and tell all your friends! Contact Chris Lane for tickets. And please also contact Chris if you can donate raffle or auction prizes. 

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Training voyages for sea staff and new prospective sea staff

Still chasing the last few provisional bookings for the mates' training weekend 7-9 September (£150) - before offering any remaining places to those on the reserve list.

e are now taking bookings for the next mates' training weekend, 25-27 April 2008. Email me to book. There will also be a longer adult familiarisation voyage in first half of the 2008 season - we have three possible dates for it in April, May or June but we are waiting for a few more group bookings from young people and we will settle on adult voyage dates when we know which voyage isn't needed by a group.

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Maintenance days

The maintenance day on September 15th has been CANCELLED. There will now be an official maintenance day on September 7th instead, plus general maintenance being carried out from 4-6 September. Help needed - call Wolf on 07771 771864 a few days in advance if you can come along.

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FREE women-only self defence course on offer
John Snowden is offering to run a self-defence course for women some time over the winter. Please email me if you might be interested, and if there is sufficient enthusiasm we will put together some details. This should be a really outstanding course - everyone who knows John or has sailed with him will know of his expertise in the field.

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Financial appeal
Many thanks to the Peter Harrison Foundation for the second of two installments of extremely generous support, and to the N Smith Charitable Settlement for a contribution of £550 which arrived this week.

Current fundraising priorities are to start putting together a refit fund for next winter, so that we are better able to plan the jobs and don't face the usual cashflow problems at the last minute. See here for how to make a donation.

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London Support Group
Anyone in the London area interested in getting involved with our London Support Group should email Rob Dickinson. It's mainly about getting more young people from London to sail on the boat, and raising a bit of money to help them do so.

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Dorset Support Group
Martin Skipper is planning to revive the Dorset Support Group - anyone in the area who might like to get involved can email Martin.

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Boat Show
We are still looking for volunteers to help with our stand at the Southampton Boat Show, on any day from Friday 13 September to Sunday 23 September. All welcome, including young crew members who can help enthuse others simply by describing their own experiences on board John Laing, as well as adult volunteers - some of whom will be needed as stand managers, prepared to commit to helping for a full day or longer.

We will provide a pass for entry for the period of time on the stand, so volunteers will also get a chance to look round the rest of the show - a great experience.

For more information on how you can assist us please contact David Salmon in the office or email Brian Eyres

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Volunteer press officer news
Don't forget to contact Lizzie Fiddaman, our volunteer press officer, if you think your voyage should be covered in the local press, or if you have any other good story to tell about OYT South: you can email Lizzie. You can also contact her if you want to get involved in getting positive press coverage for us in your local area - the more help she has, the more coverage we might get! Local press coverage will help more people to hear about OYT South - which can mean more crew members and even more donations - so it's well worth helping Lizzie to get us mentioned.

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Voyage posters
Available to download from the website and print out: two posters / flyers which you could hand out to people or put on a school, college or club notice board, to encourage young people to come sailing with us.

One is mainly pictures and is primarily designed to get people looking at our website; the other poster has a bit more text. Both can be printed on ordinary A4 paper so I hope you will find it easy to spread them around!

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Passwords to members-only website section
Most sea staff who are sailing this year should now have working passwords to the members-only section of the website. Anyone who hasn't received a password and would still like one should email me and I can add you quite easily.

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Website - links needed
With so much work having been done on OYT South's website over recent months, it would be really great if we could increase the numbers of people visiting it. If you have any access to another website - anything from a marine site to a MySpace page - could you include a link to And let me know so that we can link back to you!

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Photos needed
Please keep sending photos from John Laing voyages, and I'll use the best on the website.

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Survey - tell us what you think
Always looking for more responses to the web-based survey - please have a look!

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New readers' section
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 long-standing 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 at 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.

We still need help at maintenance days spread throughout the year, and there will be another winter refit starting in November - see here.

And if you have any questions, please do email me - or contact the office.

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“I have made a bunch of mates that I hope to keep in touch with - would love to come again" Joe, 13