Olympics – Weymouth Report


Olympic Games Weymouth 2012

Assistance to Weymouth Harbour Authority 28 July 2012 to 11 August 2012

Report compiled following Completion of Deployment – 15 days

Racing at Weymouth


The MVS assisted and worked with Weymouth Harbour Authority.  The invitation to the MVS came from Weymouth Harbour Master Capt. Peter Mole MN and Mr Dennis George, Deputy Harbour Master, during their visit to the newly re-started Weymouth and Portland Unit in February 2011. 

Southern Area Olympic Committee

At the Solent Region March 2011 Annual Meeting the Solent Region Olympics Committee was formed under the Chairmanship of Liz Glare, Solent Region Operations Officer, who had made the initial approach to Weymouth Harbour Master in December 2010 with a view to Weymouth and Portland Unit members assisting the Harbour Authority on a general basis. 

The Committee was renamed Southern Area Olympics Committee when it became clear that the opportunity to take part in the deployment would be offered to volunteers from outside the Solent Region. 

The SAOC held 6 planning meetings between July 2011 and May 2012. 

The Chair met with Weymouth Harbour Master, Deputy Harbour Master and Harbour Master Afloat on 7 occasions between August 2011 and July 2012 to discuss the MVS contribution to the event.  As plans developed, information was passed to volunteers and copied to CVO Don Downer and to National Secretary Richard Dale following WHA and SAOC planning meetings. 

Calling and Accommodation

The Calling Letter was sent to all Regional Volunteer Officers by Chris Davenport initially in September 2011.  The first draft of the Watch and Station Bill was compiled from responses received by spring 2012; thereafter alterations were made to accommodate changes in availability.  Initially, billeting was arranged by Mark Stapleton.  Accommodation was re-arranged when Mother Ship was changed. 

At the outset it was suggested that the MVS base and accommodation should be aboard a Mother Ship berthed in Weymouth Harbour.  This was to be MVS Appleby, but when she had to be withdrawn for operational reasons East Sussex Sovereign Harbour Unit kindly offered MVS East Sussex 1, and she proved an excellent base for the deployment. 


Early in 2012, Harbour Master Afloat chose the most suitable MVS craft from those offered by Solent Region units.  These were: Poole Unit launch Avocet, Portsmouth Unit 4m RIB MVS 1, Christchurch and Bournemouth Unit D CLASS Tony Willcox.  They were joined in July 2012 by Weymouth and Portland Unit’s recently acquired RIB James Wright, which was made available as MVS support vessel. 


MVS preparation training followed the advice given by WHM/HM Afloat, with the focus on MCA-approved VHF Radio Voice Net Procedures, Man Overboard and Towing Procedures, together with general Boat Handling good practice. 

WHA arranged two training sessions: one, intended mainly for Harbour Authority staff with two places for MVS members, was a workshop to raise awareness of dealing positively with visitors to Weymouth; the second was for MVS and other volunteers.  A presentation by WHM/DWHM/HM Afloat explaining final plans and arrangements for the Olympic period was followed by a visit to the Marina Slipway and a visit out to the bay to view the buoys placed to form the Harbour Gateway and marking the anchorage lanes where MVS volunteers would be working, together with the location of security vessel HMS Bulwark, and the boundaries of sea areas to be controlled by Weymouth Harbour and Portland Harbour respectively.  This was an excellent and valuable day.  Fourteen MVS volunteers including many senior staff who were free that day attended. 


Weymouth Bay

·         Revision Orders for Weymouth and Portland Harbours were in force throughout the period. 

·         The schematic diagram supplied by WHA to all visiting craft and to the MVS, available also on WHA’s website, shows the buoys in place forming lanes and zones. 

·         Approaching craft were required to call HMS Bulwark, then Portland Harbour, and finally Weymouth Harbour using designated VHF channels.  Craft using the harbour were issued with an identity sticker, the number being recorded by the Harbour Office. 

·         Swimmers were advised to remain close to the beach and away from the WHA anchorages, which were spectator areas for craft.  Spectator craft were to be ‘hovering’, not at anchor. 

·         Police and LOCOG craft were also on watch in the bay. 

·         The 10 knot speed limit was in force and applied to all craft.  Wash was to be kept to a minimum at all times.  MVS patrol craft maintained a buffer between the buoys and other craft/swimmers depending on location. 

·         The MVS guarded the Weymouth Harbour Gateway, displaying a red flag when closed and a green flag when open.  Gate opening and closing was by Weybay Control from Portland Harbour.  Notification was by radio.  The gate was closed to allow competitors to proceed to and from the racing zones in Weymouth Bay. 


Weymouth Marina Slipway

·         Due to daily road closures, bus routes terminated at the Slipway, so reducing the area available for trailer parking.  A number of pre-booked trailers were expected, with visitors intending to launch their boat and return. 

·         The MVS managed the Slipway for the duration 280712 to 110812. 




·         Guardship at Weymouth Harbour Gateway, signalling gateway open/closed using red and green flags.  Launch Avocet

·         Safety Patrol between WHA anchorage for spectators and racing zones.  RIB MVS 1.

·         Safety Patrol between WHA anchorage and Weymouth beach.  D CLASS Tony Willcox.

·         Command and Control afloat – Weymouth Harbour Master Afloat. 

·         Marina Slipway management for WHA: craft wishing to launch pre-booked, trailers directed to parking bays. 

·         Officer of the Day liaison with WHA, briefing MVS crew, and attending briefing with WHM/DHM/HM Afloat daily; managing WASB and accommodation on daily basis. 


·         Slipway duty hours were 0730 to 1930, with a hut available for use. 

·         Record sheets were collected before 0730 from and later returned to the Harbour Office daily. 


·         The Watch and Station Bill was managed daily by the Officer of the Day.  Changes in manning for operational reasons or due to availability were incorporated. 

·         Despite a few unfortunate instances of serious sickness arising prior to and during deployment, all roles were undertaken throughout by suitably qualified, experienced and competent volunteers.  Short-notice cover when needed was often provided by volunteers for just one or two separate days, hence the high total number of personnel who took part.  The Harbour Master has complimented the MVS on the professionalism of their response.  This must be attributed to the hard work undertaken by all members during unit training. 

·         Accommodation and victualling were achieved successfully, with the change of Mother Ship making no difference to arrangements in essence.  Thanks are due to the ES1 Shipkeeping team for this. 

·         Daily Briefings at the Harbour Office provided the MVS with information needed for each day’s duty.  Feedback between WHA and the MVS was informative and positive.  Daily Briefings on board ES1 enabled the clear flow of information.  Volunteers responded positively to changes in routine required by WHA. 

·         Timed Duty Watch periods afloat, which alternated with stand-easy throughout the day as advised by HM Afloat, worked out successfully, and were judged by volunteers to be right given the operating conditions. 

·         Slipway duty periods were long, but undertaken positively by Duty Watchkeepers. 

·         Victualling at lunch and dinner times aboard ES1 worked well, with food always ready.  Shopping for stores was straightforward, due to the proximity of the town. 

·         Bunkering and watering was made simple, due to the proximity of shore power and water.  Fuelling for small craft was achieved by the MVS placing the cans on the quay, and Harbour Office staff filling them overnight.  Diesel for the launch was obtained from the fuel pontoon and for ES1 by tanker, both by arrangement with WHA. 

·         ES1’s berth was inside the secure port area.  The small craft were rafted up beside ES1 when off station, which made security and daily preparation for sea each day straightforward.  A 24-hour watch was kept aboard ES1 throughout. 


·         Everyone who took part can say “I was THERE”.  The tremendous roar from the crowd when Ben Ainslie achieved his Gold Medal was heard by those on duty aboard ES1 as well as those on the water. 

·         It was an exciting privilege to participate at the Olympics and to play a useful part in this prestigious international event. 

·         The crew aboard ES1 stood to attention when HRH The Princess Royal passed by on board a Trinity House vessel to make a visit to Weymouth Sailing Club, and were delighted when the Princess smiled and waved.

·         The Royal Dorset Yacht Club welcomed off-duty MVS members, some of whom were fortunate in meeting Olympic sailors there and seeing the medals which had been won. 


·         Many MVS volunteers commented on how much they valued working with members from other units, the opportunity to learn and improve their skills and to make new friends.  Many said how much they had enjoyed being part of the event.  There was a very strong feeling that the MVS should capitalise on the spirit of the deployment, which brought the service together, eliminating unit and regional boundaries. 


·         Thanks are due to Weymouth Harbour Master and his team for making the MVS welcome, and for the opportunity to become part of his team for the fortnight during the Olympics deployment. 

·         Thanks also to East Sussex Sovereign Harbour Unit, and to David Lockwood, for preparing and bringing ES1 down to Weymouth at very short notice so that volunteers had accommodation, a control centre and a base during the deployment. 

·         And thanks to everyone who volunteered, and who carried out their duties with such enthusiasm; together we made a good team. 

·         It was a great experience; one that those who took part will not forget. 





Liz Glare – SAOC                   August 2012



Below are statistics showing how many hours were worked, and by whom.



PLANNING – March 2011 to August 2012

Southern Area Olympic Committee

L GlareChair/Liaison with Weymouth Harbour Authority, D LesserWebsite, C Davenport – Calling Letter & WASB/Portsmouth U, M StapletonInitial Billeting/Christchurch U, G Bramble StewartNational Communications, L PeppittAVO South, D Dobson Emergency Response /IOW U, S HarrisonGosport U, M SharpRVO Solent, N BarrowPoole U, T Sherman (until Apr 12) – Weymouth/Portland U, J PeaseHealth and Safety Advisor


MVS SAOC Planning Meetings

Jul, Oct, Dec 2011, Feb, Apr, May 2012 – 1930 to 2130


Planning Meetings with WHA @ Weymouth:

L Glare with Weymouth Harbour Master/DHM/HM Afloat: Aug 2011, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, July 2012 – 1000 to 1130


Pre- Deployment Training Sessions organised by Weymouth Harbour Authority

3 July 12 – WHA interface with visitors to Weymouth – workshop – L Glare and D Lesser

25 July 12 – MVS and other Harbour Authority Volunteers – L Glare, D Lesser, N Barrow, R Rees, P Lockwood, A Jones, D Rose, R Chick, G Bright, J Sarsfield, P Curtis, T Fairey, D Button, C Davenport

Presentation by WHM/DHM, Visit to Slipway, Visit to Operational Buoyed Area and Weymouth Harbour Gate in Weymouth Bay aboard WHA Pilot Boat Melway


VOLUNTEERS – 280712 to 110812

Volunteers deployed from the following units

Bristol (B) – 3, Christchurch/Bournemouth (CB) – 6, (East Sussex Sovereign Harbour (ESSH) – 10, Gosport (G) – 4, London (L) – 1, Plymouth (PL) – 1, Poole (POL) – 15, Portsmouth (POR) 11, Shoreham (SHM) – 1, South Devon (SD) – 1, Weymouth/Portland (WP) – 8


Accommodation and Victualling

On board East Sussex 1 for those not resident in Weymouth/Portland, or who had not chosen to make private arrangements to stay in the locality during their duty periods. 

Female accommodation in B and B, as none available on board ES1. 


Tasks Undertaken for Weymouth Harbour Authority

(Numbers in brackets indicate number of days each volunteer spent on deployment.)

OOD + Liaison with WHA

L Glare POR (15)


P Lockwood POL x 2, D Rose POR x 1

Launch, RIB, D Class – Coxswain/Crew, Slipway Management

R Amner POR (5), M Angwin B (8), O Angwin B (8), L Arterton POL (9), T Ashenden POR (3), A Barker POR (2), N Barrow POL (5), G Bright WP (15), K Brown POL (1), C Bungey CB (4), D Button G (11), R Chick WP (15), R Clark POL (3), S Cottingham CB (9), A Cox POL (4), P Curtis WP (9), C Davenport POR (9), N Davison POL (2), J Dawson POL (2), M Dumescu POR (2), S Eley WP (1), T Fairey WP (4), L Glare POR (15), C Hardy CB (7), S Humphreys CB (1), D Jayne G (5), A Jones POL (5), D Jones CB (15),

M Jones POR (4), D Lesser POR (9), P Lockwood POL (7), S McCalman POL (1), G Mills G (7), R Mitchell POL (1), D Moore POL (4), R Rees POL (8), D Rose POR (5), J Sarsfield WP (15), M Sharp POR (7),

L Sketchley WP (3), T Smith POL (3), D Swetnam POR (7), J Viney CB (5), J Wales WP (1), R Walker POL (2)

Total number of man days assisting WHA = 268


ES1 Permanent Crew 24 hour watch from 27 July to 11 August

Shipkeepers: J Pease (2), L Corbin (2), A Funnell (4), D Frazier (8), K Johnson (10)

Assistant Shipkeepers: B Lee (5), B Edwards (12)

24 hour watch also undertaken by volunteers accommodated on board ES1 – arranged by Shipkeeper i/c


ES1 Delivery Crew – 260712/270712

D Lockwood LON – Skipper, E Oades ESSH – Chief Engineer, S Cox ESSH, K Willmoth ESSH, J Rabbitts ESSH, K Johnson ESSH, B Edwards SHM

ES1 Return Crew110812/120812

D Lockwood – Skipper, K Johnson, I Lloyd ESSH, A Buffery ESSH, M Golfin ESSH, D Baird ESSH, R Hill ESSH




East Sussex 1 – ESSH Unit – Kiwi Class Training Vessel – MVS Operations Command and Control base, MVS Accommodation and Victualling base

Avocet – Poole Unit – launch – Weymouth Harbour Gateway Guardship

MVS 1 – Portsmouth Unit RIB – Patrol in Weymouth Bay between Weymouth Harbour Authority Anchorage and Olympic Racing Zones as per WHA schematic diagram

Tony Willcox – Christchurch/Bournemouth Unit – D Class – Patrol between Weymouth Beach and WHA Anchorage as shown on the WHA schematic diagram

James Wright – Weymouth/Portland Unit – RIB – additional craft available for duties if required (vessel acquired by Unit summer 2012)



Portsmouth Unit RIB Delivery and Collection by road – Weymouth: I Miller, D Rose, P Marlow

Christchurch Unit D Class Delivery and Collection by road – Weymouth: D Jones, J Viney

Poole Unit Launch Delivery and Return by seaWeymouth: P Lockwood, R Rees, A Jones




Operational Hours

·         OOD & Snr MVS Afloat Coxswain Briefing with WHM/DHHM/HM Afloat @ Harbour Office – @ 0830

·         Briefing for all afloat crew by OOD daily @ 0845

·         0900 to 1800 daily – afloat including boat preparation and secure alongside

·         0715 to 1930 daily – slipway including collection/return Harbour Office paperwork

·         0800 to 1900 daily – OOD on duty

·         24 hrs Duty Watch – ES1 permanent crew with other volunteers as required


Duty Crew

·         Avocet – 2 minimum x 2 (working in 2 x 2hr watches, as agreed with WHA during pre-deployment negotiations) = 4 crew per day

·         MVS 1 – 2 x 2 (watches as above) = 4 per day

·         Tony Willcox – 2 x 2 (watches as above) = 4 per day

·         James Wright – 2 when deployed

·         Slipway Management – 2 per day

·         OOD – 1 per day


Manning Hours

Afloat                          9 hrs x 12 duty crew per day = 108 hrs per day (6 on the water/6 on stand-                                   easy but on call, duty periods 2 hours on the water/2hrs off throughout the                                     day)

                                    108hrs x 15 = 1620 hrs during period 280712 to 110812

Slipway                                   12.5 hrs x 2 duty watch per day = 25 hrs per day

                                    25 x 15 = 375 hrs during period 280712 to 110812

OOD                           11 hrs per day x 1 duty officer = 11 hrs per day

                                    11 x 15 = 165 hrs during period 280712 to 110812

TOTAL                                    108 + 25 + 11 = 144 per day

                                    144 x 15 = 2160 hrs during period 280712 to 110812


ES1 Duty Watch        15 x 24 hrs = 360 hrs to cover

                                    44 man days between 280712 and 110812 = 44 x 24 = 1056 hrs

                                    Standing Crew varied between 2 and 4 volunteers, actual duty watch periods                                 as arranged by Shipkeeper i/c


ES1 Passage to/from Weymouth

Time at sea as per Skipper’s reports, plus travel from and return journeys to Weymouth

Craft preparation

All craft                                   prepared for duty by home units prior to deployment


Fuel provision

ES1                             diesel for passage to/from Weymouth and engine running during                                        deployment provided by WHA

Avocet/launch             diesel for passage to/from Weymouth and used during deployment in                                             Weymouth Bay provided by WHA

MVS 1/RIB                   petrol used during deployment in Weymouth Bay, and fuel for delivery and                                     collection vehicle provided by WHA

Tony Willcox/D Class as above

James Wright/RIB      petrol used during deployment period on occasional MVS business provided                                  by WHA




Weymouth Harbour Staff and MVS Volunteers enjoying a social evening aboard East Sussex 1



East Sussex 1 Crew after arrival at Weymouth on 27 July 2012


Liz Glare –SAOC August 2012


Below is a link to this report in PDF format.