Leg 3 Champion lights the Olympic Cauldron

Callum Airlie, the Voyage to Success 2012 Champion for Leg 3, was one of seven promising young sports men and women to be asked to light the Olympic cauldron at the climax of the Opening Ceremony on Friday evening.

We had heard that Callum had been invited to perform a duty at the Opening Ceremony but its exact nature was kept a closely guarded secret.

It has been an amazing year for the young sailor, who presented certificates to young people from Deckham Community Centre (Leg 3) on the same day as he carried the Olympic Torch through his home town. By an extraordinary coincidence the evening of the Opening Ceremony was Callum’s 17th birthday! Within hours of lighting the cauldron Callum had to fly to Austria to compete in the 420 Youth World Championships in Austria.

His mother Julie Robson said: “He lit the cauldron and he was on a plane at 6.30am to Austria. He turned 17 today. I think it is a case of feelings are beyond description – proud does not touch it. I think I will watch it a couple of times to know that it was not a dream and it was him. I think he is a bit like that.”
The two-time Optimist UK National Champion was nominated to be among the final seven by double Olympic sailing champion Shirley Robertson. He has been competing internationally since 2008.

Duet is due to depart Weymouth tomorrow crewed by a group of young people from York Children’s Services.

Sir Steve Redgrave hands the torch to the young athletes who will light the cauldron

Sir Steve Redgrave hands the torch to the young athletes who will light the cauldron


Duet joins in the Olympic bell ringing

Leg 9 / Day 4 Final Day

Beth says..good making a total racket for start of the olympics.

Sam says…Duet kicks off London 2012 in her own special way.

Becks says..woke up Torquay with bell ringing.

Jenny says…everybody “look at me in my pyjamas,don’t they look good!!”

Ringing the bell for the Olympics

Very nice for her & us!

& Duet gets to cruise in company with friends Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Starehole bay… What a beautiful bolt hole at Bolt head!

At anchor Starehole Bay


Work Before Pleasure

Unfortunately, the leg 9 Champion, Paul Anderson has been called to London on business and won’t be able to join Duet’s young crew on their day sail in Weymouth.  It is very disappointing for both Paul and the crew but he does have a very good excuse having been asked, at the last minute, to help out at the Olympic Opening Ceremony. 

In the circumstances Duet’s crew have decided to extend their passage by calling into Torquay tonight before making their way to Weymouth tomorrow –in time for the fireworks.


Water Babies at Play, Drifting & Baking

Leg 9 Day 3

Calm Seas…Drifting & Baking.

With no internet access our phone blog is brief.

Beth says.. after a racing start & helming, the next challenge was to find the jam for baking.
Jenny says… after seeing a pod of dolphins & deck work done, nearly finished the main evening meal. Feel nice & clean after shower in Fowey.
Sam says… after shipping & stowing the tender & much needed shower in Fowey, which reminded me of Balamory, we left in good breeze. Now learning knots…becalmed!!!
Becks says… enjoyed the shower & the sun. All jobs on deck done, now working on RYA Competent Crew.


Below in the Bakery


Comp Crew Knot Practise


The weather is fantastic and the sea too tempting to resist!


Sun Sun Sun!!!!

Leg 9 Day 1

We are so lucky…the topsail is set & we’re away to anchor for supper in lovely weather. At last!!!

Jenny said: Made new friends with five other people. We made a menu and shopping list and went on our own to Tesco Metro to go SHOPPING! Left Falmouth docks to sail and got commented we looked “pretty”! Tacking our way out from Falmouth harbour for anchoring at about 8ish at the mouth of Helford River to have some tea that Sam prepared through the journey.

Beth said: Arrived at Port Pendennis and met my new friends. We all made ourselves a shopping list and went shopping for food. 6 people eat a lot in a week. We set off in fantastic weather and tacked up to the anchorage in the mouth of the Helford River. Sam cooked a great dinner on a level hob. Slightly weird.

Sam said: First stepping on to ‘Duet’ I was struck at how different she was to the usual, smaller dinghies I was used to sailing. The sheer amount of sheets on the deck was very overwhelming; however, after setting off under sail from Port Pendennis Marina I started to become familiar with all the different ropes and soon found out, fundamentally, cruiser sailing is not all that different from dinghy sailing. A thoroughly enjoyable first day with some fantastic weather and a delicious meal, if I may say so myself!

Rebecca said: Having navigated through the complicated marina at Falmouth I met the five other people I would be spending the week with. I had been expecting that the boat would be full, so it was a pleasant surprise to find that the boat wouldn’t be quite as cramped as it potentially could have been. Everyone helped out on deck, and the most challenging thing was to pull hard enough on the sheets to raise the sails: the skipper, Dawn, kept telling us to use our whole bodyweight rather than just our arms. After a delicious meal we all had a deservedly good night’s sleep.


Sailing to the Olympics

Not quite but it sounds good! – The young crew for leg nine have all joined Duet to complete the Gold Residential section of the Duke of Edinburgh Award; they met for the first time as they stepped on board. Their final destination will be Weymouth where they will arrive in time to experience the atmosphere of the sailing opening ceremony and be in a great position to view the spectacular firework display over the bay.

Champion for this sector is Paul Anderson OBE who is taking time from his busy schedule to support our Voyage to Success. Amongst many other notable achievements such as skippering in the America’s Cup under Sir Peter Scott in 1964, Paul’s sailing skills won him a bronze medal in the Mexico Olympics in 1968 in the 5.5 metre class. Since then Paul has been a prominent member of various Olympic committees, was Chairman and is currently Committee Member of the Olympians Club (former British Olympians Association) and is also Chairman of the Harlequins Players Association.

The young crew are sure to be inspired when their Champion joins them for a day sail on Friday.


Reunion and Reception

Duet’s young crew from Dylan Thomas School, although now hardened sailors, were pleased to step onto dry land after their 36 hours at sea.

What an achievement – sailing from Swansea around Lands End in somewhat adverse weather conditions to arrive in Falmouth just in time for the reception laid on to celebrate their arrival.

The Royal Cornwall Yacht Club generously offered their facilities for the reception and, being a gloriously sunny day (for a change), the reception was outside on the lawn with Duet tied up alongside the wall. The Commodore and other flag officers made Duet’s crew and guests feel very welcome.

The young people were presented with their certificates of achievement by their Champion Jo Gooding who paid them a surprise visit which rounded their voyage off nicely as she had been there to see them depart from Swansea.

The reception was also attended by Duet’s owner, Christopher Courtauld who was joined by quite a number of his relatives who turned up to support the occasion.

Christopher has been involved in sail training for over half a century! In 1960 he co-founded the Ocean Youth Club with his friend Christopher Ellis using their own sailing vessels, Duet and Theodora. For 10 years the two vessels sailed alongside each other until Theodora was decommissioned in 1971 (Duet continued to provide sailing experiences for young people). A recent restoration of Theodora has seen her relaunched under her original name of Kindly Light.

On Saturday, just prior to the reception, these two very special vessels met in Falmouth for the first time in 40 years with Christopher Courtauld, Malcolm McKeand (Theodora/Kindly Light’s new owner) and two of Chris Ellis’s children, David and Emma Ellis in attendance.

May it be the first of many meetings for the two vessels!


Dry Land at Last

Leg 8 Day 7

Day 7

Courtney: Today was rather unusual, after finishing our final shift we arrived in Falmouth but before docking we spent about an hour cleaning up the boat and tidying up on deck (i.e. Tucking in loose rope ). After arriving inFalmouthwe all went to the showers again and then went exploring the high street, looking for a nice café so we can buy lunch. Afterwards we moved the boat across the pier and arrived at the reception where people were able to look around the boat and ask questions, at first I found speaking to strangers slightly awkward but I soon settled and felt comfortable. I enjoyed the reception and the company of the others but I felt that I wasn’t used to big social events.


Interesting but kind of fun day today. Memories of Courtney’s deep moments from 4 in the morning shifts still fresh in mind, and thoughts of the fact we’re home tomorrow was enough to keep my spirits high for one day longer. We arrived inFalmouthat around 10 and had a last, proper clean up of the boat. We went and had a nice, warm shower, then wandered around town a bit. The town was small compared toSwansea, but it was nice all the same. And, they have damn nice pasties! The evening reception was… interesting, to say the least. I felt awkward talking to people, but I coped okay. We successfully gained our Competent Crew certificates, and we can now look forward to a good night’s sleep, and then the 6 hour road trip home. Mum, dad, Rhian and my own bedroom, here I come!

 Josh Stock:

Today we finally made it toFalmouth. The day started on the last leg around lands end and then down toFalmouth. When we made it toFalmouthwe went for showers and then to the town centre for food. Finally we went to the event where we celebrated the one hundredth birthday of the Duet.

 Joshua Longhurst:

Continuing long shifts, we eventually made it toFalmouth. After showering in the docks we went to the yacht club where we were welcomed and congratulated for completing leg 8 of the journey aroundBritainon the 100 year old boat, the Duet. We were also given our competent crew awards.

 Jessica Brain:

The long shifts are over. I repeat, they are over. Yes, we are here, we are inFalmouth, finally! WE ARE FREE! Well, kind of. We still have to spend the night on the boat, then WE ARE FREE! We arrived inFalmouthearly hours this morning, had a shower and went around the town for food. When we got back we had photos and a Duet tee shirt then went to the yacht club for a reception where we were given our Comp Crew certificates and celebrated with other members of the club. Courtney and I had a wonderful time. I know. When the celebration finished, we went back to the boat, had food and played cards before having our last night on the boat. Thank you, Duet, Dawn and Paul, for this magnificent experience. I shall hold it with me forever.

 Luke Williams:

Finally we have arrived after a long day of sailing toFalmouth. Once we arrived we sat down to debrief before going for a shower then off for a walk around the town we then came back to the boat to clean up before going to the reception which was very formal. We then came back to a meal of chilly and rice. Then we played a game of cards before getting ready to go to bed