It is that time of year where people are looking at the end of the season in the UK. The nights are drawing in and the temperatures have dropped. The wind has a chilly feel to it and there is the threat of rain more often. The clocks are about to change and then it hits us. It is winter and the sailing season has ended. I know there are those hardy souls in the winter series, scraping ice off the deck to race on a weekend, but for beginners and junior sailing schools the element of fun and enjoyment on the water is easier to teach and develop a love for our sport of sailing when the weather is warmer. I am very proud to be the patron of St Mary’s Junior Sailing Club in Alverstoke and I was invited to join them at their laying up supper. This signifies a lot. Firstly we were hosted by Stokes Bay Sailing Club which is a natural progression for the SMJSC sailors, so to be familiar with some of the people and the surroundings really helps those nervous about moving up to another club. It also means there are lots of children hyper on wonderful food and treats from the amazing spread laid out for supper and finally the all important awarding or certificates and prizes. This latter part is where I come in. Recognition goes to those who have improved, reaching various bronze, silver and gold awards, there are the funny prizes too which are just as important. Then finally the presentation of the trophy I donated to the club to recognise not only the most improved but also the person who has helped others and given back too. I was joined by Abigail, the previous winner for the last two years, and we were delighted to present the trophy to Harriet. A huge congratulations to her. It was so refreshing to see such enthusiasm for the sport of sailing by so many youngsters and supported by so many parents helping out. Everyone is fantastic but I would like to thank Richard Baker Jones who has nurtured the club, developed its programmes and has introduced me to a wonderful group of people. Thank you.

Richard Baker Jones

Dee Caffari

British yachtswoman Dee Caffari is the first woman to have sailed single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions and the only woman to have sailed non-stop around the world three times. In 2006 Dee became the first woman to sail solo, non-stop, around the world against the prevailing winds and currents and was awarded an MBE in recognition of her achievement.

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