Sunset in harbour


OYT South bulletin 31st August 2007

In this Bulletin

Sections which have changed since last week marked *

Crew (aged 12-25) 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 to find another crew so far. 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.

The other voyage which is also in urgent need of more crew is the weekend trip 5-7 October, with the ASTO Small Ships race (against other sail training yachts crewed by young people) on the Saturday, and a party in Cowes on Saturday night. This should be a superb weekend - please book a berth and bring your friends.

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Full list of current crew vacancies
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.

10-14 Sept: Southampton £275 - 12 places left
27 Sept - 1 Oct: Southampton £220 - 4 places left.
2-5 Oct: Southampton £175 - 10 places left
5-7 Oct: Southampton £150 - 8 places left (NB some people have booked BOTH 2-5 Oct AND 5-7 Oct, in order to get some training before the race)
8-12 Oct: Southampton £240 - 1 place left
15-19 Oct: Southampton £250 - 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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Sea staff berths - short notice possible 2M vacancy
If the voyage 10-14 September goes ahead (which should be confirmed next week) then we will urgently need a qualified second mate - if anyone could be available at short notice, please let me know a.s.a.p.

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Mates training weekend 7-9 September
I've got two places not yet confirmed for this weekend, and I've used up the reserves list, so it is just possible that I'll have one or two places at short notice - anyone interested? It'll cost £150; you need to join in Ocean Village, Southampton, at 8pm on Friday, and we'll be finished by 5pm Sunday. Suitable for current mates who want a bit of practice, or for new volunteers who want to see our boat in action and find out what our volunteer sea staff do. You can use this voyage to get a skipper's recommendation for assessment. Please email me a.s.a.p. if you could come along if we do have a spare space.

We 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
We'll be doing maintenance on board John Laing in Ocean Village, Southampton, next week from Tuesday 4th to Friday 7th September inclusive. Volunteers needed - call Wolf on 07771 771864 if you can come along.

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Voyage news
The final leg home to Southampton after 77 days away!

The crew joining in Ipswich included this year's MDL Award Winners plus a number of other individuals. On the first night they went from Woolverstone to the River Stour, where they woke the following morning to find plenty of sunshine but no wind. This meant they could only motor to Ramsgate, where they spent much of the following day, leaving in the evening to make their way round to Eastbourne. They were lucky enough to find that their arrival coincided with Eastbourne's festival weekend, with the RNLI and local fishing boats all involved, big crowds and a great atmosphere.

Next day was another windless motor towards Portsmouth; but on the way they saw the RNLI no longer in festival mode but attending a boat on fire off Beachy Head.

After Portsmouth, they went down into the western Solent, anchoring in Alum Bay and going ashore to the beach. Finally that afternoon they got a good sailing breeze and enjoyed a cracking sail back up the Solent. They anchored off Hillhead for the final night and finished the voyage back home in Ocean Village the following morning.

Many thanks to sea staff Dave Carnson, Graeme Cole, Geoff Eddy, Laura, Lizzie Fiddaman (big congratulations for passing her third mate's assessment) and Brendan Stewart, who had an excellent week as trainee bosun.

The latest voyage started yesterday in Southampton and they are already in Alderney - news on this voyage next week.

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People news
Happy birthday to Wolf's mother!

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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 on the website 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.

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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
More than 70 tickets already sold - thank you so much to everyone who has booked, but there are places still available!

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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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