RYA Scotland Big Weekend 2013!
The RYA Scotland’s Big Weekend supported by MalinWaters opened in Largs on Saturday (23rd February 2013) morning with lots of people gathering to see the star of the show, Olympic silver medallist Luke Patience.
It was an action packed morning with lots of opportunities to hear Luke speaking about his Olympic experiences and also his hopes for the future. First up on the stage were RYA Scotland's Chairman Jeremy Glen and David Adams McGilp from Visit Scotland to welcome everyone to the show at the start of the official show preview. David took the opportunity to announce that MalinWaters is lending its support the Active Marina programme, launched in Scotland last year, to help increase participation and also competence in boat owners within marinas.
(Pictured L-R: David Adams McGilp, Carolyn Elder, Luke Patience and Duncan Chalmers)
The programme encourages and supports increased berth holder activity by partnering with marinas, RYA recognised training centres, berth holder groups and yacht clubs to establish or enhance a programme of training, cruising and social opportunities.
“This is an outstanding opportunity to be able to unshackle some of the long term berth sailing boats, to get people out on the water and to increase their skills and knowledge,” said Visit Scotland’s Regional Director David Adams McGilp.
Luke Patience then took to the stage to officially open the show to everyone. Luke hosted a question and answers session on the main stage and gave the audience a chance to ask him about his Olympic experiences and what his advice would be for the next generations of Scottish sailors. The question on many people’s lips was about his much anticipated announcement about who he will be sailing with this season and for his Rio Olympic campaign. He remained tight lipped and promised to share the exciting news at the RYA Dinghy Show in London.
Next up on the main stage were the Scottish National ranking awards with RYA Scotland's High Performance Manager, Nick Scott, announcing the top three for each class and Luke Patience handing out the well-deserved medals. The young sailors are all part of the RYA Scotland performance programme and have delivered some fantastic results over the past year.
“All of the sailors have been working extremely hard and are looking forward to a successful 2013 season. The RYA Youth Nationals will be taking place in Largs in April so they are all now preparing to put in some great performances against the top sailors in the UK,” said Nick.
Some of those recognised at the ranking awards were Jamie Calder who finished 4th at the Optimist Nationals and was also selected for the Optimist Worlds team for the second time. Aaron Murray secured a 4th place at the Inland Championships in the Topper class this year. It has been an especially exciting past year for Callum Airlie who, as well as achieving fantastic results alongside his crew Jo Butterworth on the water, was one of the lucky young athletes chosen to help light the Olympic cauldron in London.
(Pictured L-R: Hamish Taylor, Jamie Calder & Luke Patience)
Later in the day Skelmorlie Primary School kids stole the show as they took to the stage with the boats they had designed and built for the School Boat Building competition. The finalists were judged on the main stage by Luke Patience and medals were presented to the youngsters. Ten year old Haillie Mutter was the lucky winner and said afterwards:
“It feels really good to meet an Olympian, I have always wanted to meet and Olympian. It was great to win today and I’m so inspired by the whole project that I want to give sailing.”
On the Saturday evening 150 people gathered to join RYA Scotland at their Annual Awards dinner. A social gathering that brought together people from all over Scotland, the Annual Awards dinner was an evening of celebrating the successes and hard work of the Scottish clubs, instructors, coaches and volunteers.
Overall the event was a fantastic opportunity to showcase sailing in Scotland, give everyone a taste of what is has been happening over the past year and provide information about what is planned for the future.