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August Bank Holiday fun at Kielder Water Sailing Club

by John & Judy Scullion 29 Aug 2013 13:29 BST 24-26 August 2013
Windsurfing race at Kielder Water over the Bank Holiday weekend © John Scullion

Adults and children at Kielder Water Sailing Club made the most of this Bank Holiday weekend, with a windsurfing regatta over two days and the Little America's Cup (match racing in Toppers) on Bank Holiday Monday.

Nearly twenty young people from KWSC and their friends (and a sprinkling of the not-so-young) got together on Saturday and Sunday for a mixture of windsurfing competitions and games, including a tug of war where the losers were pulled into the lake; water polo; jousting on windsurf boards, the horse's part being taken by a partner with a paddle; go-kart relay races (into the water - can you see a theme emerging here?); water balloon throwing; a treasure hunt and model raft building.

Saturday saw a race across the lake from the red shelter (called 55/02 from its longitude and latitude) back to the club. Light winds and drizzle did not dampen the enthusiasm of the windsurfers, whose sails resembled a flock of butterflies flitting across the lake. The junior race was won by Philip Heywood, with second, third and fourth place being taken by Jane Vallance, Nick Pike and Luke Stewart respectively. The adults' race was won by Judy Scullion.

Sunday's shenanigans included a freestyle competition in the bay, with Christina Coates winning the adults and Jane Vallance the juniors, with Tom Sambrook of Pugneys Pirates a very close-run second. All competitors showed a variety of interesting moves, from sailing on their knees with one toe in the water, sailing backwards, or flipping the sail 360 degrees, to the spectacular dismounts at the end of each heat.

Good days on the water were followed up in the evenings by further entertainment including a barbecue, disco and games.

On Bank Holiday Monday, Kielder's Little America's Cup, now in its 26th year, was for once held in conditions of blazing sunshine and light winds. The traditional wind shifts were still in play, however, with wind from every point of the compass during the racing. Adrian Langford, as Race Officer, adjusted the course to suit the conditions, although the wind was so wilful that competitors occasionally found themselves beating upwind on both the outward and homeward legs of their race.

Victory in the adult race this year went to Graham Thumwood, who showed an uncanny ability to use every breath of wind to propel him round the course ahead of his rivals. The junior Topper race was won by Robbie Langford, while Archie Dodd came first in the Optimist class. Other species were represented by Punch the Dog, who crewed for Ravi Cabral in the final round, but failed to collar the gold.

A good time was had by all, and special thanks go to Brian Coates and his team for organising the windsurfing regatta, the patrol boat crews, the galley team for keeping everyone fed and watered, Alec Vallance for the splendid bar with beer from the Great Heck brewery, and Adrian Langford for running the Little America's Cup when he would no doubt rather have been sailing it.