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Sail for Gold Picnic Races at Kielder Water Sailing Club

by Nicola Bell 12 Jun 2012 13:35 BST 10 June 2012
Picnic Races participants (and the inflatable torch!) at Kielder Water © John Scullion

The great thing about sailing is that whatever your age or level of competitiveness, ability or agility, there is something for you. The Picnic Series has been an important feature of Kielder Water Sailing Club's calendar for many years - race, have a picnic, race some more. This year it coincided with the RYA's Sail for Gold weekend which is the pre-Olympic regatta at Weymouth. The RYA has encouraged sailing clubs around the country to hold events for everyone to join in, and provided Sail for Gold bunting, flags, medals and an inflatable torch.

The Picnic fleet was varied with a Laser 3000 (fast), a Drascombe Lugger (slow, and not often seen racing) and middling-speed boats in between. They sailed a triangular course first, then went ashore in the Belling for the picnic - to the delight of the midges who found they had 22 people for their lunch. So the people escaped in their boats in a hurry and completed two more races in heavy rain, and wind which varied in amount from very light to reasonable.

In handicap racing, whoever crosses the line first is not necessarily the winner, once corrected time has been calculated. Race one was very close with only 3 seconds (corrected) between Nicola Bell and Chris Baker (Miracle) in first place and Robbie Langford (Topper) second, with Graham and Rosie Thumwood (Miracle) in third. By the third race Ed Brooks had the measure of his borrowed Laser, arriving in second place, and Adrian Langford posted a fifth place in the Drascombe - possibly because Rosie Thumwood had jumped ship for the comforts of the Drascombe's spray hood in the rain? William Pym and Charles Brooks (RS Vision) and James Nohl and Ollie Brooks (Laser 3000) sailed in a different direction to everyone else on the downwind legs, with their asymmetric spinnakers.

Ed Hold and Geoff Brown, the Race Officers, awarded Sail for Gold medals to Robbie Langford as the most successful junior; to Emma Maxwell-MacDonald and Audrey Holt for preparing the picnic, and to John Scullion and Jock Maxwell-MacDonald for delivering the picnic (and some additional children) to the picnic spot and for manning the patrol boat.

Overall Results:

1st Nicola Bell and Chris Baker (Miracle)
2nd Robbie Langford (Topper)
3rd Graham and Rosie Thumwood (Miracle)
4th Ed Brooks (Laser)
5th William Pym and Charles Brooks (RS Vision)
6th James Nohl and Ollie Brooks (Laser 3000)
7th Adrian Langford (Drascombe Lugger)

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