Four deserving young people who won a place on this year’s MDL Sail Training Awards voyage were officially recognised for their achievement by Lord Iliffe, Chairman of MDL’s parent company, yesterday 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.
Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing at MDL Marinas, commented: “Our Sail Training Awards are a very important initiative for us and the last 28 years have seen us help well over a hundred young people to experience something truly exceptional. We are big supporters of the work of Ocean Youth Trust South and it’s fantastic that they can reward these youngsters with such a brilliant adventure that really does give them skills for life.”
For more information, please visit www.sailtrainingawards.co.uk