Gurney Sailing

The Police Gurney Charity has supported sailing for teenagers of police families who have been affected in some way by a family trauma.

Bryan Tucker has been one of the adult members involved as Skipper or crew ever since the Gurney Fund Sailing commenced, and before that also similarly involved when the late David McCARTHY started the Rupert Fund sailing with the RUC children.

This is the story of 'Gurney 2005'.

My sailing involvement with the Police Gurney Charity was started some twenty years or so ago when the late Dave McCarthy, a then Met Police dog handler, was involved with the Rupert Fund with the thought of providing sailing holidays for RUC children. Dave approached several south coast forces requesting for volunteers to skipper yachts to run a week long sailing holiday in the Solent.

Officers from Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset and the Metropolitan responded and the event was run for two years before the organisation was taken over by David Ogden from Hampshire who has run the event on behalf of the Gurney Fund ever since. The weeks sailing holiday for twenty youngsters is run annually in July.

Twenty teenagers are selected from nominations from forces put before the Gurney Fund Trustees. The youngsters 16 to 18 years, many of them have never sailed before, arrive for the holiday. They are distributed five to a yacht together with a skipper and mate and off they go sailing around the Solent, berthing at various locations and sleeping aboard the yachts. Some meals are prepared by the youngsters aboard and some are taken ashore during the week.

Participants in Gurney Sailing 2005. Can you recognize anyone?

The 2005 event followed the usual pattern and took place from 23 to 29 July using four 44 foot charter yachts. The weather was not kind but this did not seem to dampen the childrens' spirits. After the first two days of familiarisation the youngsters are encouraged to helm and crew in races against the other yachts. During the racing skippers do not touch the helm unless to avoid a collision situation.

Ellen gets involved with the group and a bit of signing

The highlight of this years event was a chance meeting with a famous sailing personality. On the Thursday night of the week we traditionally visit the Folly Inn up the Medina River where a meal is taken and crews dress up in fancy dress to some chosen theme. When we arrived at the Folly Inn to take up our reserved berths we found we were berthed next to two craft run by the Ellen McArthur Sailing Trust. Also we learned that Ellen was to visit later that afternoon. When she arrived Ellen agreed to come aboard the Gurney Yachts and meet our kids which was a wonderful experience enjoyed by crew and kids alike. Ellen talked freely with all on board and even autographed their sailing shirts. Probably the most remarkable thing about Ellen was how small in stature she was and particularly how small her hands were. A truly wonderful ending to an enjoyable week's sailing.

Bryan Tucker
Dorset Police S.C.

Bryan Tucker was a serving officer in The Dorset Police retiring in 1996 after 30 years service. During the earlier part of his service he regularly travelled to take part in Police dinghy open meetings mainly using an OK dinghy.

For many years Bryan organised the annual Dorset Police dinghy open meeting at Poole and also was the main organiser for the two years that Dorset hosted the Police Offshore Championships. Except for those two years he has taken part as a competitor in every offshore event since its inception except for 1997.

Gurney Sailing started in 1992 . David OGDEN (Hampshire) has organised the Gurney Sailing since it started, and was also a Gurney Fund Trustee for a number of years. He was awarded the OBE last year for his charity work which included The Gurney Sailing.

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