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Santa's Sailing Dash at Lymington Town Sailing Club

by Lou Johnson 11 Dec 2018 10:40 GMT 9 December 2018
Geoff Havers passing Oakhaven Mark during Santa's Sailing Dash at Lymington Town © Keith Willis

The inaugural Santa's Sailing Dash at LTSC.

Sunday 9th December saw nearly 2000 Lymington residents dress as Santa and run, jog and walk the 3km course to raise funds for Oakhaven Hospice, a local hospice which provides specialist palliative care to patients in The New Forest and Waterside area. A charity close to Lymington Sailing Club members' hearts, the club recently named a race mark Oakhaven in memory of Sophie Beeton, wife of Sailing Secretary Alastair, who experienced first-hand the work and care the hospice provides patients and their families. 2018, saw the first Santa's Sailing Dash to raise additional funds for the hospice.

Whilst some LTSC members donned their running shoes, others tucked into a hearty athletes breakfast in the comfort of the Solent Room, as Race Officer Mark Barwell and Assistant Race Officer Lou Johnson made the final decisions on the race, as the winds were reaching near 30 knots from the West and the tide was about to ebb.

A decision was made to cancel the official series, however a few eager beavers were keen to get out, so the informal Santa's Sailing Dash to the Oakhaven mark and back was held. Four boats made the startline on time, with two late comers. There were plenty willing to help the starting procedure on the pontoon, the ratio may have been 2:1 with two helpers to every one sailor!

The sailors got away under with a clear line, Pete Barton leading the way to Oakhaven mark with a small following of RS Aeros in his wake. A downwind, and wobbly for some, blast was had. All but one boat survived the gybe, the one who tacked happen to be the first boat home. Clearly having too much fun in the waves some of the Aeros forgot to head back up the river and stayed out to play a bit longer. The punchy beat back to the finish saw, Tig and Pete home first, followed by Julie Willis and Geoff Havers.

Winner of the 2018 LTSC Santa's Sailing Dash went to Geoff Havers, for wearing his fancy dress combo of reindeer ears with a Santa outfit, making it out to Oakhaven mark, surviving the gybe and back! Tig Williams and Pete Conway also got a prize for being the first boat home in their 420.

The £59.15 raised from donations on the day will be added to the money raised at the Charity Christmas Concert on 21st December and go to Oakhaven Hospice. Lymington Town Sailing Club race every Sunday morning. For further details contact the office on 01590 674514 or email the Sailing Secretary on

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