Cambs Youth League at Paxton Lakes Sailing Club 2013

We arrived quite early as Gareth, my dad, was race officer for the day. We got out some boats for Grafham Onboard to use and then I rigged my own boat. The Sharps had camped the night at the club so their boats were already rigged. Some competitors from other clubs had just arrived and were unloading their boats. Bobby and Andy turned up and their dad came as rescue with their powerboat. Tara came not long after them and sailed a club Laser with a 4.7 sail. The club was packed with boats. There were 35 competitors. The wind was very poor. Over the working week, it was very windy sometimes hitting 30 knots. That all died over night. At 8 in the morning, there was none left. We were lucky to get some races in.

The first race was supposed to start at 11 but with there being hardly any wind; the race was postponed for a while. The race committee finally started the first race so everyone launched. I helped out some new racers at our club and others get their boats in the water and launched. The fast handicap boats started first then 3 minutes later, Toppers and Laser Picos started and finally 3 minutes after them was the Teras and Optimists. On the Topper start, I was right on the line. They pulled up the X flag meaning someone was over. Harry Moffatt had to go back through the line while we all beated up to the first mark. This didn’t cost anything to Harry as he raced right back to the front of the fleet. I had to tack onto port and head towards the mark. I had to go round everyone but I got stuck in dirty wind. Andy managed to keep his wind as we went on the same sort of route before we tacked. I started drifting and then some boats crashed into me because I was windward boat also pushing me into the mark. As soon as I got round the mark, I did 3 turns by mistake though I only had to do 2. I was very far back now near the last start. I was sailing in clear air so I managed to catch up everyone during the race and overtake them. I managed to get quite near to the front of the Topper fleet. In that race, I came 11th overall. Bobby came 14th, Andy came 18th, Helen came 23rd, Charlotte came 34th, Beth came 33rd, Peter came 26th, Jack came 28th and Aimee came 30th.

We went in for lunch and the postpone flag came up again. When it finally came down, we all started launching. I helped a few get started and then launched myself. I sailed up towards buoy 9 when Harry told me there was wind round at the back of the islands near buoy 7. We went round the island waiting for the start sequence. Once the fast Handicap boats started, we all came to the line and got ready. Nobody in our fleet was over this time. I got a good start up to the first mark and stayed with the front of the fleet. In that race, I came 14th overall. Bobby came 3rd, Andy came 16th, Helen came 23rd, Charlotte came 28th, Beth came 34th, Peter came 24th, Jack came 33rd and Aimee came 26th.

Everyone waited for a while for the third race but  the abandon flag was pulled up because it was getting too late for another race and there wasn’t a ripple on the lake.
We all packed up and went to prize giving. First they gave out the trophies for the day. Beth got the youngest competitor trophy. Then they gave out the overall trophies. I got the 1st under 15 trophy. Everybody had a good day even though there was no wind.

Full Results here

By William Russell