Exciting week for young North Devon sailors

Joseph Bulmer

Fifty five young sailors aged from 10 to 21 years competed for trophies at the culmination of four exciting training weeks for Royal North Devon Yacht Club cadet members.

They faced weather conditions ranging from clear, sunny skies to mist and torrential rain, and wind conditions from dead calm to hair-raising Force 6 gusts

Many boats capsized more than once throughout the five days of racing. This slowed some down, but with capsize drill always a favourite part of cadet training, all were still laughing at the prize giving party.

A variety of boats in three separate fleets catered for all levels of experience and size, some cadets single-handed in Lasers, some doubled up to sail Picos and others in threes in a handicap fleet including Wayfarer, Bahia and Sport 14.

Prizes were awarded by Captain Jimmy Johnson of the Royal Navy and past Commodore of the club, who had watched the racing from his house all week. He explained that the club cadets used to be taught on a boat called the Pelican in the 1930s, which was why the event is still called Pelican Week and one of the main prizes is the Pelican Cup.

Pelican Fleet: 1, Oscar Freeman and Rose Mckinnel; 2, Arabella Podmore and Claire Malbrel; 3, Emma Cobby and Jessie Dean.

Mallard Fleet: 1, Michael Peek, Christian Hocking and Kitty Harker; 2, Emily Lancaster, Emma Kirby and Milly Flynn; 3, Tim Peek, Tom Marsden, Mustapha Mirza and Amy Barker.

Laser Fleet: 1, Harry Cobby; 2, Emily Williams; 3, George Williams.

Crew’s Race: Andrew Kirby

Best in a borrowed boat: Camren Garland

Best Girl: Emma Cobby

Appledore Shield: Poppy Flaxman

Most Improved Helm: Jack Lancaster

Karen Raymont was awarded the Sea Dog Trophy for being so keen and always ready to help.

David Graham, the club’s current Commodore said: “I am delighted with the standard of training this year and the enthusiasm of the cadet members. The week of cadet racing has gone really well thanks to help from lots of adult members and parents who have also been involved. We have taught more than 100 cadet members this year and are already planning next summer’s training schedule.”

If anyone is interested in finding out more about adult or cadet membership, ring (01271) 860367 or see website www.ndyc.org