Southport Junior 12 Hour Race
This unique event brings together youth sailors from all around the country to compete in Argo’s, GP14’s and the ever popular Enterprise. Held on the relatively safe waters of the Marine Lake, this popular event is always well attended and 2017 was no exception.
Juniors in GP14 from several clubs took part, and the report below was written by Michaela Attfield of Budworth Sailing club – thanks Michaela!
On Saturday 24th June a team of seven Budworth sailors ranging in age from 13 to 18 took part in Southport Sailing Club’s annual Junior 12 hour race. This was Budworth’s first entry in the race since 2008 and was the first time that any of the sailors had competed in the race under the Budworth burgee.
The race began at 8:00am with the Enterprises starting in the first flight, the GP14s in the second flight and the Argos in the third flight. Budworth had a strong start putting them in a good position to quickly overtake the Enterprises and allowing them to benefit from sailing in clean air towards the front of the fleet. However, there was close sailing with the first few boats constantly changing positions.
Throughout the race there were a number spot prizes including the fastest lap sailed at midday which was won by Budworth. Other spot prizes included the fastest lap by a lady helm, won by Leigh and Lowton.
During the day the wind gradually built, further challenging Budworth to keep the boat flat but favouring the teams with more weight in the boat. Upwind proved challenging but gains were made on downwind legs as the Budworth sailors were generally lighter than the other teams.
The sailors were constantly motivated by the rest of the team on shore who were enthusiastically cheering for them. To enable the team to sail at their best, there were regular helm and crew changes allowing the sailors to rest and recuperate.
The race ended at 8pm with Southport Sailing Club winning the race, Royal Windermere Yacht club in second place and Budworth Sailing Club in a very respectable third place.
The team are very proud of their performance throughout the race and thoroughly enjoyed the day. The team members were Charlie Whittaker, Matthew Williams, Ryan Hart, Michaela Attfield, Kate Bottomley, Arianna Nerici and Nick Devereux as Captain.
We are very grateful to our sponsor, Preston Audi, for their continual support. We would also like to thank a number of club members including Bill Kenyon (Team Manager), Hugh Devereux, Geoff Edwards, John Waind, Russ and Ali Cormack and Ted Garner who all gave up their time to train the team and also parents for their support. Many thanks to Southport Sailing Club for hosting the event.