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Ocean Safety 2023 - New Identity - LEADERBOARD

Alton Water 2024 Frostbite Series Sponsored by Anglian Water & Fox's Chandlery - Overall

by Archie Hainsworth 3 Mar 16:21 GMT 3 March 2024
Alton Water 2024 Frostbite Series Sponsored by Anglian Water & Fox's Chandlery - Final day © Archie Hainsworth

So here we are, at the end of another Frostbite Series and Winter at Alton Water.

It is safe to say whilst the temperature has (mainly) been on our side throughout this series, the wind in the second half maybe not so much. Today saw no difference to this trend, and light air gears had to be selected by our sailors to gain the competitive edge.

Sat windward of the line prior to the first start, ready to act as lead boat for the last time made it clear to me that the majority of our sailors were indeed ready to battle hard for the prizes at the end of the day, kindly sponsored by Anglian Water and Fox's Chandlery. The light airs carried the aggressive trigger pull to the line, particularly for the cadet fleet, who were set on cutting competitors off at the committee boat as well as luffing their peers over the line. We think this may have somewhat intimidated the fast fleet boats!

Following an all-clear start (just, from where I was sitting anyway!) Tactics really came in to play for each boat. To go left to catch whatever wind there was, or head right off the start and sail the shorter course. I thought the fast boats who elected to go left off the start had chosen right, as an oscillating wind direction made for some favourable lifts... But oh how I was proved wrong when the top 3 cadets thundered in from the windier side of the lake on port, stealing the thunder from underneath the faster boats.

The two races today saw really great competitive racing between all ages and fleets with smiles all round, and as we finish up for another winter, I was reminded of why I enjoy putting these events together so much. The sport in the East generally is struggling still, and to be able to support and facilitate an event such as this for all ages and abilities is a real pleasure - but more on this later.

Prize giving was presented in the water sports café, with prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd for both fleets as well as overall. The overall prizes were kindly sponsored by Fox's Chandlery, and we are very thankful for their support. Through data protection I cannot name who came where on this report, however the results are now live on 'Alton Water Frostbite Results' on Facebook, as well as photos and videos from the ceremony. I would however like to point out one boat in particular - Cadet 9026, who was awarded the endeavour prize with impressive results, great manners and of course an 100% attendance rate since the beginning of January. Big well done to you girls!

I also had the opportunity to address our Racers regarding the future of racing at Alton Water. I am delighted to announce to our community that as of this year racing at Alton Water is FREE OF CHARGE. It is my hope that prior to Frostbite 2025, we will be holding some interim regattas through the summer and Autumn. Keep eyes peeled on this! We are so fortunate that the centre is in a position to make this offering, and I feel incredible to be able to provide this opportunity amongst difficult financial times for many in what is usually an expensive sport - and so whether your are young, old or older, there really is no excuse to come get out on the water and enjoy what promises to be friendly and competitive racing for all from now on.

I would like to say a massive thank you to our volunteers who have helped me provide this opportunity to our sailors as well as those who have joined us from further afield. Mark B and Duncan B, your support with the safety boats has been invaluable as of course safety is our priority, and your hard work and contributions have meant that our sailors can enjoy all varieties of wind strengths and fun. Stewart B, as always your precision and patience with sail wave has meant our results have been posted promptly and accurately, and whilst you have not been able to join us in person your support has really been incredible. There is a non-alcoholic thank you waiting for you in the office. And finally, Mark H (Dad) and Steve M - you both have given every one of your Sunday's so far this year in order to man the committee boat, filling very big and experienced shoes before you. I cannot thank you enough for your time and commitment and I am sure everybody will agree with me the quality of racing has been exceptional, so thank you.

This brings us to the end of this series - however like I have said there is plenty more to come. Do keep a look out on our website and social media, where more details of more racing at Alton will soon start appearing. Thank you to everybody for your continued support, once again our volunteers, and of course Anglian Water & Fox's Chandlery for making it all happen.

I hope you all have a happy and healthy remainder of 2024 and I look forward to welcoming you all back for some more brilliant racing (sooner than you think!).

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