The success of almost any major sports event is now dependent on the volunteers and their connection with the event. The final regatta of the 2009/10 ISAF Sailing World Cup in Weymouth has attracted a record fleet of nearly 700 boats and requires a large team to manage them. At this years regatta there are around 350 volunteers.
A dedicated team of around 20 volunteers have been onsite retrieving trolleys and assisting with launching for up to 12 hours a day. On day two of the Sailing World Cup in Weymouth the heavens opened and the wind blew anything from 5 - 30 knots.
This resulted in the volunteers on the slipways spending up to four hours in the water almost constantly! But did they complain? No they were full of smiles and eager to get wet and help. The majority of the volunteers are from Bournemouth University but some have come from as far as Manchester and Bristol. Some applied to the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).
Despite only meeting each other a few days ago, the launching team have all begun to gel as a team, become great friends and are thoroughly enjoying the experience,
"Most of my college friends have gone abroad on holidays but I have been sending them photos on Facebook of me up to my waist in water in Weymouth at the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta but I love it.",
remarked Sam Hebert
"I told them I had been helping the three time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie launch, they were really impressed,."
Another volunteer from the team, Richard told me that the sailors really appreciate their hard work, "Particularly the sailors from Australia, New Zealand and Canada, they are very respectful, also the sailors from the USA, one of their coaches told us how much they appreciate our work.",
said Richard Binnie
Despite the typical English summer weather the volunteers really like the jackets they have been issues with! Asked whether they would recommend this job to friends and if they would like to return they all agreed,
"Definitely, would give up our holidays to do this any day"
The volunteers at any major sailing event are worth their weight in gold and this group of young individuals are an inspiration to others.
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For the latest news, blog and details on tracking visit : www.skandiasailforgoldregatta.co.uk
For the latest Sailing World Cup Standings visit the ISAF Sailing World Cup website: www.sailing.org/worldcup.
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