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HISC Youth Open Race Week

by Sarah Mitchell 28 Sep 2019 03:16 PDT 12-16 August 2019
Yes the sky was that dark, William Read and Henry Jones race each other and the clouds during HISC Youth Open Race Week 2019 © Nick Vine

Running the same week as Cowes, the HISC Youth Race Week sailors did not shy away from a strong breeze, but instead embraced the excess of 20 knots winds and the exciting waves caused by wind against tide.

With ten different fleets (RS Feva, 29er, RS200, RS Tera Gold/Silver/Bronze, Optimist, Optimist Bronze and a Handicap Fleet) held over three separate courses, a full week of three races per day were planned. We had a fantastic number of entries, almost 200 children took part and we were delighted to welcome our highest number of visitors to the event in recent history

The Bronze Fleet run by Andy Ramus and his team were able to utilise the sheltered lagoon and raced HISC's newest sailors every day, completing a full race programme in extreme conditions, an amazing achievement from our littlest sailors, a massive well done to you all.

The Single-handed fleet headed up by Race Officer Paul Ravenhill managed to get on the water for three days and completed some fantastic races. The Teras, Oppi's, Toppers and Lasers battled it out over Pilsey Sands finishing with one windy bone shaking race on the Friday.

The double handed fleet Race Officered by Steve Fisher, was our largest fleet, with over 60 boats, Feva, RS200 and 29ers. Although it's fair to say the majority of 29ers had it all on whenever they got on the water, the RS200s and Fevas relished every puff and every wave and had a tremendous time!! On Super Windy Wednesday Fish managed to get the Feva fleet out on our shallow and sheltered West Mud allowing the fleet (and the majority of the children) the chance to get one race in, before their limbs got shaken off! All three fleets rescue cover was on hand, and the fleet was sailed in really fun and safe conditions with approximately a 1:3 Feva:Rib cover.

Thrashing Thursday however was even windier, so official racing was cancelled for all fleets. Not to be outdone by the pesky breeze Fish laid on a fun race for anyone who wanted to dare the breeze on West Mud. Kids swapped fleets and boats until we had a somewhat depleted but excited fleet of Fevas heading out to West Mud for an absolute blast of a race.

There was plenty of onshore fun and antics when there was not any sailing, including the famous Table Tennis Tournament, beach games and volleyball. We also had our Rules Clinic which is always very well attended and this year we introduced a core exercise class which was utilised mainly the older sailors who loved the idea of toning up for that awesome hiking or trapezing look!

Thursday night was the marvellous HISC's RS Sailing Youth Race Week Ball that again this year did not disappoint. Donned in their best, the kids scoffed a feast, played in the photo booth and then danced the night away to DJ Mark Covell's tunes. RS Sailing donated a huge amount of spot prizes that were handed out during the meal and on the dance floor.

This year we welcomed Magic Marine to the team, who kindly donated daily spot prizes, so we could celebrate some of the more unusual sailing moments of the week and celebrate some great achievements.

The week was rounded off with a very exiting prize giving, our table was positively over flowing with incredible prizes donated by P&B, Noble Marine, Triggernaut, Mistral, Lennon Racewear, MPI Brokers and Sandy Point Chandlery.

While the kids were having a fabulous time all week, the parents and helps were not left out. To run this event we had over 60 volunteers each day, all organised by our wonderful Safety Leader Anne-Marie Wood. Members and visitors all got totally stuck into the week showing what a brilliant event we can pull together when we all get stuck in and help out, and of course all the staff at our club were fantastic and accommodating as usual. A massive thank you to everyone who took part.

We were lucky enough to have 3 photographers catching the action during the week. MPI Brokers photos can be found on their website:

And images from Peter Hickson and Neil Shawcross are linked from HISC Website: The atmosphere during the week so wonderful, such a brilliant way for the kids to make lifelong friendships in this amazing sport we all love.

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