Olympics 2012 Weymouth – 28 July to 11 August

Olympics at Weymouth Harbour – End of a busy first week

(foredeck of MVS East Sussex 1)


Maritime Volunteers Join the Olympics Action in Weymouth Bay

At a meeting held with Weymouth Harbour Master Capt. Peter Mole MN, and Deputy Harbour Master Mr Dennis George in January 2011 at the recently re-formed Maritime Volunteer Service Weymouth and Portland Unit, it was suggested to the MVS that there could be a role for the Service assisting Weymouth Harbour Authority during the period of the Olympic Games in 2012.  
Eighteen months later, following a number of planning meetings between the Chairman of the MVS Southern Area Olympics Committee Volunteer Officer Liz Glare and Weymouth Harbour Master Peter Mole, Deputy Harbour Master Dennis George, and the Afloat Harbour Masters from Dorset, not to mention regular planning meetings for the Southern Area Olympics Committee, here we are – in Weymouth – during the Olympics!
The MVS is assisting Weymouth Harbour Authority by signalling the opening and closing of the Weymouth Harbour Gate, and by patrolling the buoyed lines parallel with the bathing beach and the spectator anchorage to assist Weymouth Harbour Master Afloat.  
It’s the Olympics.  We are there, where it is happening.  A once in a lifetime opportunity, out on the water using MVS craft and doing what MVS members are trained for, right where the Olympic sailing is taking place.  
During the first week the MVS has been out in the waters of Weymouth Bay, contributing to the management of the buoyed and spectator areas.  What an amazing opportunity and privilege for a group of dedicated and skilled maritime volunteers drawn from Units around the country.  
When Ben Ainslie achieved his gold medal sailing for Great Britain in the Finn Class on Sunday 5 August the MVS was there.  The sight of the crowds watching from the Nothe and the Stone Pier.  The roar that went up when Ben Ainslie clinched gold for Great Britain.  The atmosphere of celebration on and off the water in Weymouth when spectator boats sailed into Weymouth Harbour after the events.  And the MVS, using skills and training honed over many years, helped to make that happen.  
It isn’t over yet.  Another week, another week’s racing ahead.  Lining the deck of our Mother Ship East Sussex 1 whilst HRH The Princess Royal passed by up the harbour to attend a function in Weymouth on Monday morning, and receiving a smile and wave from Her Royal Highness; that was another unexpected privilege.  
Tomorrow we shall be out on the water again, working with Weymouth Harbour Master Afloat in MVS Poole Unit’s launch Avocet, Christchurch and Bournemouth Unit’s D Class Tony Willcox, and Portsmouth Unit’s 4 meter RIB MVS 1, using our maritime knowledge and skills to contribute to this great event in this amazing summer.  
And a huge plus – the way that MVS volunteers from different units are working together as a team, making new friends, learning and using new skills, sharing resources, revelling in the shared experience and everyone’s obvious enjoyment and enthusiasm.  That, and ‘doing our bit’ to assist the smooth running of a great international event being hosted by Great Britain in this, Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year, is what being a Maritime Volunteer is all about.  
Liz Glare – Chairman MVS Southern Area Olympics Committee