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NSSA Summer 2022 activities

by Jon Leeding 2 Oct 03:33 PDT
National Youth Regatta 2022 at Grafham Water Sailing Club © Paul Sanwell / OPP

We have enjoyed a great summer of events bouncing back from a tricky and uncertain couple of years where many events were cancelled due to Covid.

In July we hosted our inaugural 12 hour race at Aztec Upton Warren. Three teams enjoyed competing in warm weather and light winds. The event was successful and those who took part enjoyed the different racing format with the novelty and social opportunities it provided.

National Youth Regatta

The highlight of our annual calendar is the National Youth Regatta, this year hosted jointly by Grafham Water Sailing Club and Cambridgeshire Schools Youth Sailing Association (CSYSA). Over 200 sailors took part enjoying some fantastic racing in a variety of wind conditions across a variety of courses (rookie, handicap, Topper and ILCA). One of the things that makes this event so special and popular for sailors and adults alike is the community spirit on and off the water. The event offers the option to camp and eat at an event campsite, this year adjacent to the sailing at Grafham Water Centre. Many teams choose to take advantage of this with friendships forming across fleets and teams throughout the week. This year we were lucky enough to enjoy activities such as dragon boat racing, archery and crate stacking in the evenings.

Two first time competitors from Derbyshire Youth Sailing, shared their perspectives on participating in the regatta. Amelia remarked that 'I liked the fleet racing and improving throughout the event. I especially enjoyed the after sailing activities.' Reuben 'enjoyed making new friends and being able to chat with like-minded people off the water. I loved 5 days of sailing (well 4 and a float in the sun). Boat conga was fun although would have preferred wind and racing. The best bit was all the sailing".

Presidents Award

Since the early days of the NSSA our ethos has been about using sailing as a positive tool to develop young people in the widest sense, well beyond simply succeeding competitive racing. To reflect this each year young people in their final year of being able to attend NSSA events can be nominated for the Presidents Award. This is awarded to people who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and attitude to developing youth sailing in their local community being helpful, committed and inspirational role models to younger team members.

In recent years we have partnered with the Tall Ships Youth Trust with the award being a week-long trip on of the Trust's iconic Challenger 72 racing yachts. This year, six award recipients joined a voyage from Swansea to Whitehaven which included multiple crossings of the Irish Sea. Unfortunately we forgot to book any wind but much fun was had working as a team to sail the boat and experience life from the top of the mast and end of the spinnaker pole.

Future plans

Our final event in 2022 is the Single Handed Team Racing hosted by Burton Sailing Club this weekend. Entry costs £105 per team (3 sailors per team) and racing will take place in Toppers provided by the organisers. Camping and food available on site all weekend.

Our 2023 programme is also coming together nicely. The National Youth Regatta will take place at Draycote Water Sailing Club from 24th - 28th July inclusive. An event campsite and wrap around catering will be available at a nearby venue tbc at this stage. We begin our season with Double Handed Team Racing on 18th and 19th March 2023 with a coached RS Feva fleet alongside the traditional Firefly event. This will take place at Draycote Water Sailing Club.

For more information please contact

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