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Sail Smart by Mark Chisnell
Sail Smart by Mark Chisnell

OnBoard 8 Hour Race at Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club

by Caroline Williams 16 Jun 2016 09:51 BST 11 June 2016
Elton's Got Talent team at the OnBoard 8 Hour Race at Hollingworth Lake © Rochelle Broxap

On a sunny Saturday morning team Elton's Got Talent arrived at Hollingworth Lake for the OnBoard 8 hour race. The team comprised of Lauren Hoarty (12 yrs), Alex Lowery (12 yrs), Robert Ramshaw (13 yrs) and George Williams (8 yrs) along with team manager Caroline Williams.

Prior to the race, we had reserved a Laser Pico boat and signed up for the under 14s onboard fleet. After a race briefing, we decided Alex and George would start the race and then switchover after three laps to Lauren and Robert. Eleven teams were entered into the event made up of two groups the advanced under 18s fleet and the onboard under 14s fleet. On the first lap and at 2pm a fastest lap would be recorded. Conditions were perfect with a steady wind.

Alex and George set off in the Laser Pico tentatively and lined up for the start at 10.05am. The boys got a blistering start with Alex at the helm and came 3rd in the fastest lap time overall and 1st position in the onboard fleet. Elton's team maintained a good position and after 3 laps came in for a changeover. The team swapped at the jetty and Robert and Lauren took charge. Unfortunately, our Laser Pico drifted towards the wall but with a cool head Lauren helmed us out of trouble and we were soon making steady progress once again.

We continued with the same pairings and often did 3 laps or even 6 laps but ensured regular breaks to maintain morale, energy and refuelling! As the rain came early afternoon, we kept spirits high cheering on our team mates after each lap and many members of Elton sailing club came throughout the day to support our juniors. Half way through the race, results were positive with a good lead and we had even overtaken one boat in the advanced fleet.

By the afternoon, we had a tricky transition and misjudged how quick Alex and George were approaching the jetty. As Lauren and Robert raced round to swap with their team mates, Alex and George arrived early and attempting to join the jetty George reached out and slipped in the water. Fortunately, spirits were not dampened although George certainly was!

In the last hour and fifteen minutes of the race we had a good position but not assured and made the decision for Alex and George to keep on going as we feared a changeover would lose us valuable time. The boys were keen to carry on and buoyed on with enthusiasm carried on with a final push. In the end it was the right decision and with steely determination they kept on going and brought us home for a fantastic win for team Elton!

www.rya.org.uk/go/onboard

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