Wednesday 19 September 2012

Glutton for Punishment

Hi all,
Last weekend saw Chris and I at Southport marine lake for the annual 24hour dinghy race with the sailing club.  This is a big event for us as the club has attended every race in the 46 years it has been run.  Unfortunately I could not sail due to my tendinitis in the shoulder so it fell to me to run the shore crew, managing the crews, change overs and keeping tabs of the lap times so no sleep for me.  Still I reckon that's good penance for not sailing.

The race is the sailing version of the Le Mans motor race where boats continually sail from mid day Saturday, all through the night to mid day Sunday with pit stops for crew changes

The pit area for crew change overs
The up wind Leg looking down the lake
One lap of the lake is just over 1 mile long, the photo above looks down the lake from one end and in the middle it has two islands making the course a clockwise one all the way around them.  You can just see one of the islands to the left of the photo above.

Sailing into wind, leaning (hiking) out to balance the boat and keep it upright

With over 60 boats taking part they cannot all start together as there is not enough room so they are set of in flights (groups) of 10 boats with 1 minute intervals.  The starting order is determined by your finishing position from the previous year.

Doing the night run, 3am in the morning and still going (this is not our boat)
Chris getting ready to do her turn
 We all take a 2 hour stint in the boat to keep it going as the boat that completes the most laps in 24hours wins the race

Our club Enterprise, number 46 with Chris as crew

Gusty conditions make for hard work

Sailing down wind on the other side of the lake
The race is very competitive with some crew members from team GB taking part.  Needless to say their club won doing 100 laps.  That does not worry us as we enjoy the taking part.  Having started the race in 46th place we finished in 26th place (85 laps) and was the lead boat of our flight for which we won a trophy (a silver tankard)

As you can imagine after 24hours with no sleep we were exhausted and slept well Sunday night.

On a different note were off to Alexander Boats on Saturday to have another chat with Jim.  Looks like the start date is getting closer so he wants to talk about AmyJo in some more detail.  I'll post how we get on after our visit.

Hope you are all well and keeping out of the Autumnal winds we've been having of late.  My Grandfather used to say "Winter drawers on" and, "Its getting late early"  and it certainly is getting darker early as the evenings pass.  

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