Sailing into September

28 September, 2020

Simply getting out on the water was one element of our project we thought we had overcome when we purchased Scaramouche. Yet 2020, put a stop to that, for a few months at least and going sailing has become a major logistical challenge for the Scaramouche Sailing Trust.

We thrive on a challenge.

When in lockdown, time was spent completing RYA courses and working on our fitness. Whilst this may sound rather professional, next year is another Fastnet year and every successive crew has one mission – to beat the one before. Improving fitness is now incorporated into our programme.

In August we were delighted to be named as one of the official charities for the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Race the Wight. Scaramouche was able to enter this with a reduced crew due to Covid-19 guidelines, with measures such as white sailing only and poling out the genoa meant we got around the course in a respectable time.

Back in May we talked about when we can, we will. We may not be as competitive on the water with a skeleton crew, but we are out on the water, competing in races and training days out on the Solent by swapping crew over. Progress.

At the same time our dinghy programme with Azat, Seun, Kai, Jaydon and Tyler has gathered pace. They have trained relentlessly with Matt Reid at Lymington Town Sailing Club, with 5 am starts and 9 pm finishes being the norm. It paid off though. The Royal Lymington Yacht Club organised a series of youth races in early August and we were thrilled to be invited to take part. Our boys showed considerable potential on the 420 and Laser, and they are all now on the waiting list and hopeful of a place in the Youth Nationals in October.

Their training will continue into the next term.

A major plus for our sailing has been the re-introduction of our mini tonners. These have proven to be invaluable as they can be sailed short-handed while maintaining social distancing.

We now have 3; Riot an Intro 22, Eros an Eboat 22 and If a Limbo 7.7. This is more than a sailing project with the crews responsible for their maintenance and race set up. They source all the parts and sails and have a real sense of ownership.

Riot and Eros enjoyed a 1, 2 finish in the Royal Southern Charity Regatta, where they both enjoyed one win each.

Throughout the summer JOG (Junior Offshore Group) has been brilliant in organising races. Our most memorable was the Great Escape. 27+ knots all day led to a very rough passage through the Needles Channel. Eros with Azat and Seun won this race. Riot with Jaydon, Kai, Tyler, and Christopher Joel made significant strides forward. They have finished every race and become more competitive. They have refined their systems on the boat and its working. So far, the boys have completed 14 races this summer and clocked up over 400 miles!

We are now back at school, and there is a lot of uncertainty over what we will be able to do sailing wise for the remainder of 2020. We will continue to run the mini tonners, we have an Etchells crew out and we hope to use Scaramouche as much as possible as we start to prepare our crew for the Rolex Fastnet 2021.

We are going for ‘the treble’ i.e. three Rolex Fastnet races back to back!

We also been in the news, pick up the September edition of Yachting Monthly and/or All at Sea, where you can read some of our crews experience of the sailing world!

Sailing this summer would not have been possible without the help of some key people. These include, Malcolm Wootton who loaned us the use of his RIB for safety cover, Spinlock again has provided even more life-saving equipment as our fleet of boats increases and to Lymington Town Sailing club for their massive help in setting up our dinghies.

Sailing is a lifeline for many of our students, and we will continue to get in as much as we can with their safety as our number one priority.

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