Four deserving young people who won a place on this year’s MDL Sail Training Awards voyage were presented with their trophies by Lord Iliffe, Chairman of MDL’s parent company, at the Southampton Boat Show. The youngsters returned from their trip earlier this year after spending six nights at sea with the Ocean Youth Trust South.
The MDL-sponsored awards, which have been running for nearly 30 years, offer admirable young people – carefully selected due to their exceptional accomplishments, or for overcoming adverse personal circumstances – the opportunity of a lifetime aboard the training yacht.
Joining a team on board the ketch ‘John Laing’ were Colm Craig, 17 from Brixham, 15 year-old Lowri Fleet, from Torquay, Joseph Harnett, 12 from Southampton, and 12 year-old Meagon Howie, from Portsmouth.
The week-long round trip, from Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, saw them plotting their intended course and getting involved with all elements of sailing. During the voyage the participants also had the opportunity to obtain the Competent Crew certificate, an RYA recognised qualification.
The Ocean Youth Trust South team were so impressed with one of the participants, Colm Craig, that he was invited to train to become a volunteer for the charity. Colm has now completed his volunteer boson qualification, training for which includes leaning to conduct safety checks and basic boat maintenance, as well as supporting the skipper and watchleaders. Colm’s second voyage was supported by a grant from the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.