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Junior Week

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Published 00:00 on 22 Aug 2021

Junior News.....

Junior week 2021!

Well where does one start! If you've been following the Juniors on Facebook you'll have an idea of what's been going on. An amazing week, providing the right mix of fun, learning and enthusiasm; all delivered in the most professional way. The result was very very happy junior sailors!

Led by Ricky Lee-Harris, the Junior Core Team plus their superb helpers brought the total volunteer team for the week to 22 and what a great team they made.

The week started with a challenge; some tough conditions with gusts of up to 25knts less than ideal! Our hardy sailors sought the shelter close to the reed beds and near Holloway's Dock - our very own Simon Percival providing a history lesson on this location during the briefing!

With a handful of capsizes to our name and some awesome blasting around, lunch was called and then onto games; "tow and let go!" which saw our youngsters with/without sails hurtling downwind to land and tie up to a tow on the leeshore.

Tuesday brought with it a sense of tranquillity lots of sunshine and light winds meant that every group was on que to achieve. A rare and peculiar creature was seen in the harbour by the Pirates course One of the coaches pretended to be a Sea Badger and took to the water acting as both buoy and coach!

Wednesday had the same sunshine as prior but also some more wind! Both the Pirates and Buccaneers sought out the reed beds as shelter with the Pirates perfecting their close hauling and gybing, the Buccaneers were working to windward to master the Triangular course! The racers braved the wind and in the distance the capsizes could be seen! One young sailor, having adopted the mantle of submariner by this point!

The afternoon's game was "follow the leader", The Pirates and Buccaneers were politely minding their own business when, as if accompanied by the imperial march theme, the adventurers and racers arrived! After some wiggling, all 38 boats were sailing together behind a coach boat and would be described by onlookers as a snake made up of boats! The kids did fantastically well and then were sent their separate ways to come home- being in the middle of this felt like being in a wasp's nest!

The highlight of Thursday could only have been the pursuit race Simon P opening the morning briefing with "I have a plan!" which came to fruition later that afternoon! Simon briefed the sailors on his shallow diamond course and then it started! Every boat was on the line! First went the pirates as they zoomed to the line, next the Buccaneers, Adventurers and finally the Racers were let loose. With gusts of 18knts our sailors were pushed to the max but through all of this one of our pirates held off the competition and stood victorious.

By Friday in became clear that a little fatigue was setting in as our sailors were devouring their snacks during briefing in the hopes of an energy boost! Again the activities were troubled by heavy winds but they launched, they sailed and a number of coaches became acquainted with their local sandbar as the morning was spent redirecting kids from it!

The afternoon's game was the Pirate/Racer vs Buccaneer/Adventurer relay race, the competition was fierce but the Pirates/Racers won in their trusty topper. A boat trade was suggested and acceptedsuspiciously the bung had later been found to have been removed from the topper. A future career in industrial sabotage perhaps?

The week was concluded by the Sailing Secretary and Commodore leading the prize giving after the kids (and coaches!) had a well-deserved fish and chip supper.

Meanwhile in Poole Harbour....

CSC's Juniors were also in action with three of CSC Young taking part in racing organised by Parkstone YC. Over 250 kids entered, with 15 in the ILCA4 (Laser 4.7) class. 12 races were completed over 6 days.

Much like back in Christchurch high winds created a few additional challenges; the first two days brought 20 to 30 knots of wind, with three races completed in these tough conditions. Loads of capsized boats with a lot of work for the safety crews, but our girls kept themselves out of trouble. The next couple of days were lighter and a lot easier before the breeze built again to about 20 knots for a great last two days.. All in all a great week of sailing and an incredible event laid on by Parkstone. All three of our sailors had some great results in a fleet of talented young sailors. Sadly Mads had problems with her boat so her score didn't do her justice. And considering Lilly was competing in her first proper event she did incredibly well!

Throughout the week there were fun and games including a trip to Splashdown for all sailors and a few inspirational / celeb sailors who came to say hi and offer encouragement, including Pip Hare and Ellie Aldridge. The week was topped off by a big party with prizes handed out by Hannah Mills who passed her newly won medal into the crowd for everyone to get their hands on a touch of Gold!

All in all a great week of sailing and an incredible event laid on by Parkstone. All three of our sailors had some great results in a fleet of talented young sailors. Sadly Mads had problems with her boat so her score didn't do her justice. And considering Lilly was competing in her first proper event she did incredibly well!

Throughout the week there were fun and games including a trip to Splashdown for all sailors and a few inspirational / celeb sailors who came to say hi and offer encouragement, including Pip Hare and Ellie Aldridge. The week was topped off by a big party with prizes handed out by Hannah Mills who passed her newly won medal into the crowd for everyone to get their hands on a touch of Gold!

So let's round off the week with some stats (Just love stats!)

We had

42 sailors in 41 boats (incl our Poole Juniors)

An age range of 7-15

14 races and 1 pursuit race (we will try for a gate start next year!) (excluding Poole!)

More capsizes than it is polite to publish!

Windspeeds occasionally topping out at 30knt gusts!

67 sets of fish and chips devoured (in Christchurch)

9 prizes given out

22 volunteers that made the week everything that it could be.

It has been a fab week and brings the on the water Junior programme to a close but stay tuned to the Junior Section FB Page as Ricky & our Junior Team have bigger and better plans in store for the Club and our young sailors next year!

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Last updated 20:03 on 25 August 2021

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