A Club for All the Family  West Oxfordshire Sailing Club

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2013 Junior sailing report

2013 was a good year for our Junior sailors with many making excellent progress. We continue to introduce a good number of our younger members to sailing using our Oppies and with the progression we provide through Toppers and then into the Fireflies and team racing we now have a core of older juniors sailing regularly at the Club and also helping to progress the younger sailors.

The Club's main competitive focus for juniors is the National Youth and Junior team racing championships at Farmoor in October and this year having performed well at both the NSSA two boat Champs and the BSDRA Midland area event our A team managed to win 9 out of 17 races sailed at the event which is our best result yet. Every year the selection of the twelve sailors that make up our two teams seems to get harder! Initially we thought by entering two teams our selection problems would ease but such has been the enthusiasm in the end we had to select 12 from a potential 20 sailors which is a very positive problem to have. Our two teams are pictured below.

Of course our Juniors also compete at other events and a special mention should go to Oliver King and Hugo Burrows who have both been selected for the Southern regional Topper Squad. Alexander Baxter has competed at several Lightning events and also the Firefly Nationals along with Olly, Beatrix and Hugo Burrows. Alex also attended the Firefly Inlands at Rutland and had the pleasure of rounding the windward mark 1stand ahead of the current national champion in one race, finishing 2ndin the end. Ben Nicoll crewed for Tony at the event and hopefully gained some valuable experience.

Finally on the competitive sailing front we must mention our Firefly team that sailed at the West Lancs 24hr race this year. It was made up of predominantly youths and juniors and with any luck will be a completely youth and Junior team next year. They will have a hard act to follow to be 1stfirefly and 18thoverall.

Of course our Junior sailing is not just about racing. Many of you just enjoy 'messing around in boats' and good fun it is too! There is much to learn by doing this and our Junior sailing week probably showcases this philosophy more than anything else we do at the Club. This year was no different.

Lance ran the Topper group in at first what appears a very formal manner but somehow everyone ends up in the reeds by the end of the week! The clever bit is that most of the sailors manage to extract themselves. Lance is a good teacher. Make the most of him if you get the chance.

The Oppie group was run for the first time by three of our older juniors and recently qualified RYA Instructors namely Alex Howe, Emmanuelle Nairac, and Olly Burrows and what a grand job they did. In fact Alex Howe so enjoyed the experience she set up some extra sessions on Saturdays in the Autumn before our team racing sessions for the younger Topper and Oppie sailors. This is something we will continue next year hopefully.

The Firefly group, 12 in number this year thanks to our two extra boats financed by Sport England, was run by Tony Thresher in his own rather random and hoarse voice by the end of the week style. Still, everyone seemed to have a good time and with two in a boat there is always a chance to have a good chat!

We all missed Martin and Jenny Gibson this year and it was with great sadness that we learnt of Martin's death soon after. He was instrumental in setting up the Junior Sailing Week several years ago and I'm sure he will be very much in our minds next summer during the week.

There is much to look forward to in 2014 with our usual programme through the year which gives great opportunities to the Club's juniors to progress their sailing at every level.. If you want to know more please contact:

Tony Thresher

Tel. 01865 863595 email tonythresher57@aol.com


 WOSC Warriors familiarizing themselves with their boats before their first race

10th September 2012

The Twiname Champs at Farmoor on 20th/21st Oct are fast approaching and we have our final training session this Saturday 13th. The following link will give you information on the event www.sailracer.co.uk/events/event.asp?eventid=138133 Our teams are nearly finalised and we are hoping for some good wind on Saturday as unfortunately last week the lack of wind did not help our session. However we were able to launch our two new Fireflys generously provided by Sport England. Below is a picture of No. 6 about to be launched by Alex Baxter and Eddie Baker watched on by Eddie's father and other WOSC Juniors. Picture courtesy of Helen Howe.


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