Joe Macgregor

Round the Isle of Wight in a Laser!

Joe Macgregor raises funds for OYT South

On Saturday 16th July, one of OYT South's volunteers, Joe Macgregor, sailed a Laser Radial dinghy around the Isle of Wight to raise funds for us. Starting and finishing at a line between Hook and Bald Head (in the entrance to Southampton Water) the circumnavigation took 10 hours and 45 minutes.

Here's Joe's story in his own words:

"At 8am, after months of planning and preparation, the support boat (kindly supplied by Southampton Water Activities Centre) towed me out of the Hamble River to the start zone. It was a slow start around Calshot spit in the light northerly breeze. However, it was not long before a steady force 4 westerly started to blow, which would remain for the rest of the day.

David, Lou, Joe, Josie

My support crew on the RIB (David Griffith, Lou Wildblood and Josie Griffith) were great, giving me updated tidal information and checking out the actual flow in different places, as well as supplying me with sandwiches, bananas and encouragement.

With an ebb tide helping me beat westward I got to the Needles at midday. After three hours of hard upwind sailing I was really looking forward to some easier downwind sailing! A rest for my leg muscles it may have been but I still needed full concentration to avoid the dreaded Laser death roll as I surfed along the south side of the island in beautiful sunshine.

As I turned the final corner and sheeted in at Bembridge I discovered that my legs had seized up over the last few hours and the last stage of the journey would not be a simple sprint to the finish.

With the tide now against me I stayed in the shallow water over Ryde Sands before heading across the Solent on a close reach.

My legs were now crying out at me that they had had enough, it was the encouragement from the RIB and the knowledge of the fantastic work that the OYT does that kept me hiking hard all the way to the finish.

At 1922 a cheer went up from the RIB as I crossed the finish line, an amazing feeling of relief and achievement! This was an amazing adventure, something that Ocean Youth Trust South provides for hundreds of young people every year, many of whom are disadvantaged or vulnerable in some way. A voyage with OYT South is not just about learning to sail but about developing qualities which matter in everyday life.

With kind thanks to Southampton Water Activities Centre and Elvstrom Sails."

Joe's fundraising for OYT South is still open - please support him if you can!

See here for more details about Ocean Youth Trust South's charitable work and how the funds raised by people like Joe can make a lasting difference to young people.




“Absolutely hysterical from start to finish. Could not have wished for a better team on the boat.” Jenna, 21