A contingent of 23 youngsters from Milton Keynes & Bucks Youth Sailing Association (MKBYSA) took part in the annual National Schools Sailing Association Regatta at Grafham Water during the last week of July.
The MKBYSA team was selected from sailors from 4 local sailing clubs, namely Emberton Park SC, Haversham SC, Milton Keynes SC and Great Moor SC.
This event attracts over 400 youngsters (11 to 18 yrs) in 20+ sailing teams from all over the UK. The Regatta comprises of 6 different fleets with 11 races each over 4 days, with the Wednesday considered a “day off” …unless you were competing in the “All Comers” race or the prestigious Mount Hayes Cup race which are both held that day.
Monday was the first race day, and the racing was tough going as the wind decided it was going to try and blow the boots off the young sailors. The rescue cover was kept very busy all day, with most people getting a “dunking” at some point. The uploaded photos from the day showed just how tough the conditions had been. The 4 sailors from EPSC secured good results in their first 3 races.
Tuesday, “what a difference a day makes”. The sun was out, but the wind had disappeared. The racing was subdued until the wind decided to make more of an appearance in the afternoon. The Emberton Park sailors are used to light wind conditions and gained some high positions in their second 3 races, i.e. Jack a 1st, Elizabeth an 11th.
Wednesday, was the Mount Hayes Trophy race. Each team races in similar boats, in knock out heats. Unfortunately, the MKBYSA team were knocked out in the early stages, with Cambridge going on to win the Trophy.
Thursday, normal racing was resumed, with Daniel Fisher achieving a 5th and 6th place in the Laser Radial fleet and Jack Bryant finishing in the top 6 again, in the Laser 4.7 fleet, both sailors putting pressure on the other leading teams.
Friday saw the wind return in force, with gusts over 22mph. The last 2 races of the event today were going to decide the top positions for the Laser fleets. The final positions after 11 races were:
Laser Radial Fleet (55 boats competing):
Daniel Fisher 15th and Oliver Human 48th
Laser 4.7 Fleet (34 boats competing):
Jack Bryant 2nd and Elizabeth Richardson 13th
During the Trophy Presentation on Friday Evening, Jack Bryant was presented with a trophy for being the highest placed boat in the MKBYSA team, and Daniel Fisher was presented with a trophy for his contributions to the team.
The selection for next year’s MKBYSA team takes place at Haversham SC in November for the NSSA Regatta 2018 at Datchet Water.