With a thriving youth section offering training to over 30 young local people, on Tuesdays for beginners and intermediates, who move up to Saturdays for racing, the prize giving is always a special occasion. It is held just before the town fireworks so families can enjoy a full evening.
The range of awards covers those who have had just one season, to those who have been the most successful helms during club races, and those who, have continued voluntarily to help newcomers improve their skills and be part of the race team on the water for major championships. There is also a popular Optimist group, now with over 30 younger members, who will be holding their own awards evening.
Cameron Moss, often mentioned in club race results, was the most successful youth helm, while Max Smith won his first club race outright, in difficult conditions and against some top sailors.
Jack Young and Tom McDonald were part of the Fireball Europeans race team for the whole events as well as taking race training, Harvey Cackett was the Novice cup winner, Henry Neil has improved and even enjoyed being a capsize victim during Safety Boat training course sessions, and the top trophy, the Seamanship Cup, went this year to Katie Frost. Katie has become a reserve crew for top Merlin sailor Jon Turner and puts in many hours on the water training for competitions. She also volunteers for Tuesdays, helped with safety boat training, and has a real enthusiasm for the sport. Simon Law was commended for taking every opportunity to sail or assist, crewing regularly for club racing.
Organisers valued the contribution of all the young independent sailors, praised the ethos and leadership of the older role models. Cameron gave a short talk on the youth achievements during club racing, open meetings and nationals. He will be acting assistant sailing secretary for 2018.
Commodore Jerry Rook presented the prizes. Jerry had secured Olympic coaching this season for some of our skilled youth sailors, with Olympic squads now keen to come to Lyme for practice.
The support of Harbour Master Grahame Forshaw and the Lyme Regis Sea School Trust was added to the votes of thanks.
Plans are being made for next year, with requests to join training always welcome.