What does it feel like to volunteer for a youth work charity? Find out with ‘Meet the OYTS volunteers.’
Today’s volunteer: the legend that is Ross Ritchie
? Q: How long have you been a volunteer with OYTS&what’s your role?
A: I started in 1978 as Bosun on Master Builder, one of Taikoo’s sister vessels. Currently volunteer 1st Mate, shore based instructor (VHF&Theory) YMI. Sit on safety committee.
? Q: What and with whom was your first sailing experience & what made you come back?
A: First sailed with OYC in 1977 on 72foot ketch “Taikoo” – Alba Venturer’s predecessor. ‘Til then I’d been a dingy sailor on Bardowie Loch near Glasgow at the Clyde Cruising Club. Changing from short sails to going places made such a difference -never looked back!
⛵ Q: Proudest / most memorable sailing moment?
A: Too many to list! Big Boat with big winds and big seas on the aft quarter and me on the helm! Sitting alone in the hatch, at anchor on Alba Venturer, taking shelter from a storm in Loch Nevis on a sea-staff only anchor watch. Inverie Bay on a charter boat, quietly slipping a mooring at dawn on a mirror-calm day to motor up & surprise an onboard friend with an unplanned reunion at Tarbet Bay. Being part of the small team that some 20 years ago in the watersports centre on Cumbrae undertook the commitment to start OYT-Scotland from the ashes of the collapsed Ocean Youth Club.
?Q: Favourite part of being a volunteer with OYTS?
A: Giving back to an organisation that has given so much to me and seeing the young people of today benefit from what OYTS has to offer. Plus getting afloat and sailing in one of Slartibartfast’s better designs (Hitch Hikers Guide reference – look it up)
⛵ Q: If you were a boat, what kind of boat would it be&why?
A: A 57foot Hallberg-Rassy – comfortable, well built, durable..did I say COMFORTABLE? It has bunks bigger than the back cabin on Alba Venturer – not one of those French Tupperware boxes that bounces about like a cork when a waft of wind hits!