Despite Covid-19 restrictions and the absence of formal training, youngsters have been getting out on the water and a couple of pals who wanted to sail together showed initiative by revamping an old club boat during Family Week.
Nine-year-old Josh Watkins and friend George Davids normally sail Toppers but they found an apparently abandoned Feva behind the club, discovered it was intended for disposal and asked if they could renovate and use it.
The youngsters set to with friends and families, cleaning it up, sorting the trailer and repairing the sail, all in a day. The next day, they joined in the club Wednesday night Twilight Race, taking sixth out of 13 boats in the handicap fleet.
On the Thursday they joined a fleet of a dozen boats for a seven mile leisure sail to Norfolk Island for a picnic and then sailed back.
Club Sailing Manager Edmund Clark said: “They did an excellent job and it was great to see how well they sailed together.” We are proud to have such enthusiastic junior members".
The Youth and Junior series, on Saturdays, was a fiercely competitive affair from the off with a total of 26 boats taking part over six weeks. The experienced youngsters were joined by an enthusiastic group who are new to sailing and keen to have a go and improve their skills.
Then more than 30 youngsters joined in a special Youth and Junior Fun Day on Saturday, August 30. It was organised by Steve and Kathryn Potter, who run the club’s popular annual Sail Camp. It was not possible to hold the week-long camp this year so the Fun Day was a special treat for the young members who missed out.
To round off a highly successful year for UYC’s youth and junior squad the club is hosting the RYA North Regional Junior Championships on September 26 and 27 and many young members will be taking part.