LRSS Report to LRSC AGM 2017

Nikky unable to be with us and sends her apologies.  The following is a conglomeration of her report and my own.

LRSS Report to LRSC AGM 2017

This year LRSS has reached its 21st anniversary having been registered in 1996 as a charity, When Stuart Case, Jim Thomas, Jim Bolton, John Chase and myself formed a committee to set up the organisation taking over part of the equipment the LEA equipment from the old Adventure Centre.

The year is also coincides with a period when the club is being particularly successful in attracting new members many of whom may not be aware of what it is that the sea school actually does. So I would like to briefly take advantage of the opportunity to draw attention to its function and benefit to LRSC as I run through the year’s activity.

The year can be summarised as one in which considerable achievements have been made in difficult circumstances.

LRSS is a separate organisation from LRSC with its own committee and finances but shares with LRSC its prime objective of promoting sailing in all its different forms with both organisations benefitting from the efforts of the other. LRSS makes its assets available to LRSC and vice versa.


LRSS’s main assets are its boats which are used not only for its own courses but also are available to LRSC being used regularly by Sally and Jerry’s Youth Groups and other training. We were particularly pleased that they are being used to provide adult training on Sat afternoons.

The Sea School continues to maintain Rescue 1 and make it available to LRSC as and when required. Additionally it funds half the running costs of Lyme RIB and also provides many items of mutual benefit to both organisations. One example being all the handhelds, TV, pressure washer, half data projector which were purchased by LRSS.

SS also provides training being a Registered RYA Training Establishment set to run all the adult and Youth dinghy sailing awards plus PB2 and Safetyboat courses. This year a number of PB2 courses together with Safety-boat training and courses. To retain this status LRSS has to go through a rigorous inspection each year to ensure that it conforms to all the RYA standards.

It is essential that we have sufficient Dis. An RYA dingy instructor course was run by Tony Wood early July. The candidates completed their RYA first aid, Power boat level 2 and Pre assessment practical exam before the 5 day instructor’s course and exam. I am very pleased to say that Ian Walsingham, Kat Frost, Charlotte Thompson Max Smith Max Whitton, Tom South Well, and an external candidate Kate Morley completed the course.

LRSS pays all the training fees for the Instructional team and when we are made aware that there are parents of local children who cannot afford the fees, LRSS will provide assistance.

Two First Aid Courses were run for the Instructors and club members.

One of the key aspects of the LRSS philosophy is team development. Nikky writes It gives me great pleasure to see the team progress and mature, I believe that sailing is not only an excellent sport but it’s also a platform for the development of life skills which go far beyond the ability to competently sail a boat. The sea school is a package in which the personal development of the instructional team is as important as the students’ progress. Communication, organisation and people skills are developed as the instructors pass through the SS. During the welcome briefing with new students im standing infront of them saying them “I was sitting there ten years ago” is a great feeling for which I thank both LRSS and LRSC. It is great to see members of the team progressing.


One of the most significant achievements this year has been that the fleet of boats and equipment has been upgraded considerably thanks to the considerable efforts of the team. Jo has been amazingly successful in gaining grants from a number of organisations from COOP, Tesco, the Town Council and a number of other applications are in the pipeline. As a result all the buoyancy aids have been replaced together with worn out sails and other ancillary equipment. The fleet of boats has been rationalised in response to the usage so that we have disposed of the RS Fevas and three wayfarers so that we will are running with twelve Picos, five Laser 2000s and three Wayfarers. Four of the Picos were replaced this year and two good second-hand Laser 2000s were added to the fleet. The boats have been kept in good order throughout thanks to a lot of hard work by Ray and Dave Law and others.


To manage this the Sea School has to raise money from its courses, the main ones being the Intensive Week Summer Courses.  In the last few years there have been various weekend groups plus Woodroffe School and Axminster School. Regrettably it has not been possible to run these. Consequently this year the intensive weeks have been the only source of income apart from grants and sale of boats.

SI Problem.

The year’s activity has been reduced due to the shortage of Senior Instructors, all of whom are away either working or at University. Under the RYA rules no course can be run without an SI being in charge. SIs have to be 18 minimum and have spent two years as DI. An SI with LRSS cannot be regarded other than a short time occupation and SIs have to look to their wider carer prospects meaning that there needs to be a continual progression of SIs. The problem this year arose partly due to two SI Courses that had been booked for Josh Bolton and Simon Ransom-Williams were cancelled at last minute with no other alternatives being available.  RYA Courses cannot be run without an SI in overall charge and we can only do what we can staff. We hope that next year the courses will run.


Five Intensive week courses were run with Patricia doing a wonderful job doing the bookings. Not only that but also doing the BBQ and instrumental in gaining a grant from the Town Band.

Nikky writes 2017 has been another hugely successful year. Five week long intensive courses took place with two weeks break for the national championships. Once again we were fully booked with the children’s spaces and the adult spaces were well attended, and I am pleased that a few of these adults have since joined as members with LRSC. The weather conditions were far from perfect with one week managing only three of the ten sessions on the water. Despite this the feedback was excellent.

Simon Law deserves recognition as the student that showed the most commitment and determination. He booked onto four weeks this summer and obtained almost all the advanced modules including start racing, intermediate racing and  sailing with spinnakers!

The team was lead by third year Chief Instructor Tom Waspe who despite opposition from the weather, kept the students engaged and the team focused on delivering safe and enjoyable courses. Tom would personally like to praise the work of the individuals who, often without recognition, maintain the sea school equipment used through the summer by both the school and by the sailing club.

We appreciated having Ed Crabbe return to instruct with the team after spending the past few years training at Warsash Nautical College. This year we welcomed to the team Jessica McAlpine, Georgie Banks, Alistair Walsingham and Oliver Tucker who are working towards their assistant instructor qualifications.


The SS has always had a slightly precarious existence and this year has certainly not been an easy one but considerable progress has been made and we would like to thank everyone who has helped to bring about that success, particularly the Sailing Club for their continued support.


Reported by Chris Joiner