Our RYA Onboard Team "Grafham Flyers" at the NSSA Regatta at Rutland Water - UPDATED

July 22, 2015

Follow our team of talented young RYA OnBoard sailors at the NSSA National Sailing Schools Association Regatta, one of the largest youth sailing regatta's in the UK and this year held at Rutland water.

9 of our young OnBoard sailors will be heading up to the event on Sunday, for the race briefing to around 350 competitors from all over the Country, in preparation for the start of the racing on Monday morning. 

For 3 of the team this will be their first ever National Sailing Regatta, which will be a very exciting time for them. For the others in the team, they will be immersed in their own fleets, sailing a mix of Laser’s, and RS Fevas"

The OnBoard "Grafham Flyers" Team for 2015 are:

Max F sailing a Pico in the rookie fleet, Luke T Sailing a Pico in the rookie fleet, Dave C Sailing a Pico in the rookie fleet, Tom & Jay sailing a laser vago in the double hander fleet, Abi & Jack sailing in the RS Feva fleet, Ross sailing in laser radial main fleet, Max sailing laser radial main fleet.

We'll keep you updated with regular diary updates after each day of racing to let you know how they are getting on.

***Results for Grafham Flyers OnBoard Team can be found at the bottom of this page. More results can be found on the NSSA website ***

If you would like to know more about OnBoard here at Grafham Water Centre, please call 01480 810521.

+DAY 1 - Sunday 26/07

Day 1 - A soggy start to the NSSA Regatta...

Team OnBoard have arrived and are currently settling in to their accommodation for the week!

"As you can guess folks; its been raining all day, despite this, we've had a good journey to the event. Boats are rigged and ready to go at Rutland Sailing Club. Forecast is looking windy for tomorrow but at least its due to stop raining as currently we all look like drowned rats - and its only Day 1!!

We had a great team effort to help pitch our tents at the campsite in the rain and it didn't take us long to get settled in to our new home for the next 5 days. Our first race briefing is tonight after dinner, I would say all the team are excited even with the wet weather and in good spirits ready for tomorrow. Will update more tomorrow. Good luck everybody".

Gordon Baines - GCA Youth Development Officer


+Day 2 - Monday 27/07

Day 1 of Racing

We are happy to report that the OnBoard team have had the most amazing day on the water in what has been extreme wind conditions. With the Rookie fleet briefing at 10am, there were several nervous and excited faces around the room.  All keen to get out and have a go at their first race at the Nationals. The handicap sailors were challenged by high winds on their course as the course was quite a way off shore, but all the team did very well under these circumstances.

Rookie fleet were split into two due to the windy conditions, Topper fleet and Handicap and unlike the others, had two races back to back before lunch, our OnBoard team did surprisingly well in the Handicap fleet. All the team are pleased and we are extremely proud of Dave, Luke and Max for their efforts.

Fleets were split into Laser, Laser 4.7, Fast Handicap, Slow Handicap, and the Rookie fleet. Tom B and Jay sailing their Vago in the handicap fleet, and Abi and Jack in their RS Feva. Max and Ross have been sailing their Laser's in the Laser fleet.

A good afternoon of racing was had by all, once they all got to grips with their courses and the weather. 

Gordon Baines - GCA Youth Development Officer

+Day 3 - Tuesday 28/07

Wet and Wild!

A challenging day for all with lots of waiting around! The Rookies had a full day sailing whilst the rest have only managed a ½ day due to high winds. The Rookie Fleet was split into groups, with some sailing short 15 minute courses and the others on shore listening to a ‘Rules Chat’ from Gordon – this came in useful with a Rookie Fleet protest later in the day!

The Lasers were split into 4.7’s and Radials, with our OnBoard Laser sailors sailing after lunch. The handicap fleet were also split into two, with the fast handicap sailing in the morning (including Tom & Jay) and the slow handicap after lunch (including Abi and Jack). Unfortunately Abi and Jack had to retire shortly after the start as their jib sail broke in the wind – this didn’t cause too much of a problem for them as the race was postponed due to bad weather.


EXCITING NEWS TO REPORT – Wednesday during the NSSA Regatta is generally a funny day for the participants as it is Mount Haes Day – a prestigious event with only 3 teams selected from each County to compete. We are pleased to announce that for the first time ever, two OnBoard team members have been selected to take part!

Massive congratulation to Abi and Jack who will be sailing a brand new Laser Bahia – it goes without saying that the whole Cambridgeshire team will be cheering Abi and Jack on. Good luck Racing!

The rest of the team will be taking part in the All Comers Race on Wednesday evening and normal racing resumes on Thursday.

Gordon Baines - GCA Youth Development Officer

+Day 4 - Wednesday 29/07

What a fantastic day ‘Super Wednesday’ has been!

The OnBoard team rigged their boats ready for their All Comers briefing. First start was 11am with an estimated finish time of 1pm, meaning some of the team were out on the water for 2 hours solid sailing. Conditions were near perfect with a light breeze – even the sun came out! Results are yet to be published so watch this space!

Jack and Abi did an amazing job competing in their first Mount Haes and made the semi-finals which is a fantastic achievement. Awesome sailing and a great memory to carry forward - the team are all very proud of you!

The atmosphere at Rutland has been brilliant today – keeping our fingers crossed for more sun, decent winds and great sailing!

Gordon Baines - GCA Youth Development Officer

+Day 5 - Thursday 30/07

Thursday Update

After the heavy winds of Monday & Tuesday, we now have the complete opposite and are struggling in light breezes!

All fleets have sailed back to back races during the morning and attempted to do the same during the afternoon.  Abi and Jack and Tom and Jay had a good morning in the Handicap fleet with the Laser boys – Ross and Max also getting a good sail.

Our Rookie members are still flying the Grafham OnBoard flag with Dave, Max and Luke all doing well – the team aren’t too keen on the current sailing conditions though!

Afternoon sailing was even more testing as the wind dropped completely and all racing was abandoned – fingers crossed for something better for the final day!

Gordon Baines - GCA Youth Development Officer

+Day 6 - Friday 31/07

Final Day!

We awoke to glorious sunshine with everyone happy and tents and clothes drying out!

Lots to cram into a busy day of racing, with 2 or 3 back to back races depending on the wind! First to launch were the Topper fleet, followed by our very own Handicap fleet with Jay and Tom off first, followed by Abi and Jack. The Lasers followed close behind with both Max and Ross not too enthusiastic by the current wind situation! The Rookies then launched after their 10am briefing and are currently underway with their races – Dave, Max and Luke are all excited by the final day.

The day will be filled with packing boats away, sorting the team, tents to tidy and then prize giving at 7pm tonight.

It’s been an awesome week – thank you to Rutland Sailing Club for being amazing hosts and to all the OnBoard parents for all your help and support throughout the week. Grafham OnBoard Team, you have been amazing and have exceeded all expectations – a massive well done to you all!

More news and results to follow later…..

Gordon Baines – GCA Youth Development Officer

+Friday Prize Giving

News from Friday nights prize giving....

After a long day on the water yesterday in very light winds, we all finally packed up boats ready to go home the next day. Although lots of tired faces, we all made it to the prize giving as part of the Cambridgeshire Sailing Team.

 A good evening was had by all, although no trophies won this year, lots of the Cambridgeshire sailors finished in a respectable position in their fleets. Max and Ross in their Laser's mid table - well done boys. Abi and Jack finished 10th overall in their Feva fleet, a massive achievement - well done!  Jay and Tom finished mid table in the fast handicap fleet.

Our Rookies have surprised us all this week, with all three of them sailing in extremely high winds, a massive well done to all three of you...Luke finished 7th, Max finished 9th and Dave finished 12th overall.

The exciting news of the night, was that Max O and Abi (along with Will from the Cambridge Team) have been awarded a place on the High Flyers week which is a training week down in Weymouth and Portland at the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation this month. Both Abi and Max were nominated by their team managers this week for their outstanding sailing performances which have been consistent over the last few months. This will give them both the opportunity to be coached by some of the top British Sailors using high performance boats, an opportunity they will remember for a long time.

So, another year has passed, another fantastic event - boats and tents packed away……here's to Norfolk next year!

MASSIVE THANK YOU'S for all the team's efforts, Jan & Andrew Carver, Jennifer Conway, Claire & Dave Bain, Mel Ellis, Tim Lachlan-Cope and most importantly, our OnBoard Parents,  Amanda Oscroft, Kerry Lilley, Matt & June Clarke, Stuart Ellis and Sam Findlater who helped with boat transporting, picking up children etc.....we couldn't do this without you!

More results can be found on the NSSA website.

Gordon Baines - GCA Youth Development Officer

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