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Issue:- 15 September  2011

24 Hour Race 2011
Report and photographs on this page by C Trollope.

OVER Saturday, 10 September to Sunday, 11 September 2011, the West Lancashire Yacht Club held the Annual 24 Hour Yacht Race again.  This race was the 45th race to be held and was well attended, despite the weather and also the financial climate and all the contributions are going to Sail4Cancer.  Sail4Cancer is the official charity sponsored by the WLYC 24 Hour Race, but also collecting as normal was the RNLI's Southport Branch. 

The 69 teams who took part in the 2011 race where from all over the country.  The teams were not only competing for the satisfaction of honing their skills against each other, but for one, or more of the 30 trophies, as well as for finisher plaques and prizes, which were all subject to reasonably continuous sailing by the race’s finishers.   As remnants of Hurricane Katia hit British shores, the conditions for all taking part on the water where hard, as the very strong blustery day and night, taxed the sailing skills of the competing crews. Stirling work was performed by the squadron of safety boats who rushed to capsized yachts in case rescues were needed.   Sadly for 2 yachts, the conditions lead to them retiring, one of them with a broken boom. There was also an accident, that lead a crew member ambulance being called. It was also hard going on land as well. The back-up crews, supporters and spectators braved the strong cold wind and occasional showers with cheers and friendly banter.

The refreshment tent and the evening entertainment marquee, along with a yachtsman’s clothing and equipment tent, were very well patronised.  Well done to all who staffed them and the bar areas! 

The Mayor of Sefton, Councillor Paul Cummins, with his Mayoress, Carol Cummins, and Councillor Fred Weavers started the Race by pressing a button to fire the starting-gun under the watchful gaze of the Commodore, Kathy Robinson. The Mayor and Mayoress were also present on the Sunday to present the highly prized trophies.

The Help for Heroes were collecting whilst Alex Pilkington and Alan Roberts, members of the Royal Navy Sailing Association, actually sailed on their behalf, without a relief in GP13849, successfully completed 79 laps out of 86, and finished 7th (overall 11) in the GP class. Another yacht, in 19th position, crewed by Matt Velamail and Tim Brownnell, was racing in aid of the Brain Tumour Research; while in 34th place (overall 62) was E858 (Chase S.C., 55 laps) crewed by Meg Marcano-Oliver and Sarah Kincaid in support of the Heart Foundation. First in the GP section was Hollingworth Lake S.C. with 2nd South Staffs S.C., both having completed 86 laps. In the E class, Soul Sailor Racing Association were 1st (overall 4) closely followed by West Lancs Y.C (overall 7), while in the L class, Lark Association (New Ovington) came 1st (overall 9) 82 laps, and second (overall 10) with 81 laps was South Staffs S.C.

The members of the West Lancs Y.C. are to be congratulated for their generosity in hosting this prestigious event for the 45th time. Their organisation was truly ship-shape, well done. One must also congratulate the crews in their sailing skills and the people who supported them.  We all look forward to next year’s race on the Marine Lake by the Southport's Promenade.

Let us know your views on this years 24 Hour Race.  Did you go or want to go? What was it like on the water? Please email our news room to and let us know!

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