Sailing up a storm

Sea cadets marked National Armed Forces Day to thank the veterans and personnel who have done so much for our country

national sailing regatta 2023
Rough seas at the RS21 Nationals

From 3 to 6 August, cadets attended the RS21 Nationals, a packed week of keelboat races and courses in racing techniques and manoeuvres, keelboat skills and boat preparation. Hosted by Lymington Town Sailing Club, 30 sea cadets attended, each with a minimum Stage 4 level and an advanced module in keelboat sailing. 

 “We worked hard on developing teamwork, as ultimately that’s what makes the boat faster,” says Howard Eeles, Midlands Boat Station Manager, who was involved in organising the event. “This includes good communication between the crew, and sailing in some really tough conditions. The current class champions came afloat with us to talk through everything, followed by the racing event and derigging, which everyone was involved with. We lost two days of training due to high winds, but the cadets coped well and just rolled up their sleeves and got on with the racing.

“We were in eighth place after the first day, but ended up in 15th due to not being able to complete the last three races, as we needed to pack up and get cadets home, however, we had some individual races where boats performed well, with a third and a couple of eighth places. In all, the cadets gave a really good performance and the results don’t do justice to how well we did. I am pleased that we showed the rest of the fleet that Sea Cadets can sail and race.” 

The RS21 keelboat is unique at Sea Cadets as there are more than two people in the boat, so teamwork becomes critical, combined with the speed and the distance you cover, and manoeuvring tactically with 24 other RS21s in the water makes this an exhilarating experience.

Photos: Sea Cadets

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