WLYC 24 Hour Race
2012 - Part 1
Report and photographs by
West Lancashire Yacht Club's
24 Hour Raceis on of the worlds
premier dinghy endurance races that takes place annual on the Marine
Lake, Southport. The race attracts participants from all over the
world and of all standards. The attendance was down to normal, but
that did not stop the amazing action on the water from getting any
less competitive. With team mates, friends and family cheering the
boats on, as they battened it out on the lake. The race is sailed in
Enterprises, GP14s and Larks, on the relatively safe waters, but
that did not stop the boats from capsizing as the nautical miles
cropped up and tied crews made mistakes.
On hand, as in all resent
years where West Lancashire Yacht Club, Southport Lifeboat,
Southport Yacht Club and Southport Scout association, Southport Sea
Scouts, Southport Water Ski Club, all providing safety boats along
the course and online St John Ambulance provided first aid cover.
Crews, equipment and sail changes where permitted during the race,
with in a specially designated area, but one team kept on the water
for the full 24 hours! Phil Hodgkins and Justin Smith just kept
going, except popping in to the change area to pick up some hot food
and drink, every now and again. These two amazing chaps was raised
lots of cash for Sail 4 Cancer along with the shore team who
providing them with support and motivation and also popped round the
site collecting. "24hr race in one stint, now that was
endurance..." hosts WLYC's Commodore Kathy Robinson
commented after the race... But it is not just the sailing that
attacks the clubs year in, year out.. It provides a unique
atmosphere to make new friends and catch up with old friends, as on
land a marquee, provides social events, a bar and also hot food,
this year thanks to a local small firm. The other attractions
included 2 club houses, both WLYC and Southport Sailing Clubs, also
a canteen provided by the Southport Scouts and two sailing shops and
lots more. Enjoying this unique hospitality and what is widely
regarded as one of the best, if not the best social events in the
UK's Dinghy Racing Calendar where not 1 but 2 sporting stars!
Most of the sailors
attending where in for a massive surprise with Bronze Paralympic
Games winner Niki
Birrell, cheering on the teams
from the shore and also fresh from the Olimpics was Silver Medal, GB
Team member, Stuart
Bithell, joining him. Both of
them where amazing with the fans, and Stuart even took part in the
action on the water! Stuart was sailing for Hollingworth Lake
Sailing Club, who not surprisingly won the overall event! This year
results where very close, just one lap between 1st and 2ond place.
The 2nd place went to South Staffs S.C. (A) and 3rd place Budworth
S.C., West Lancs YC in 4th and Southport S.C. (GP) in 5th.
all the boats went home as 1 of the 57 boats had to be scrapped due
to damage, after fighting its way around until the end of the race.
Well done to all who took part. Next year will be the 47th race and
it takes place over 7 September and 8 September 2013. For an entree
here. Please remember that this
is Part 1 of the coverage, Part 2 will be in the next issue.
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