Rutland super-weekend: Whitwell, 12-13 June 2010

Duncan Slater

The UKWA report on four events in one: UKWA Inland National Championships Round 3, RYA National Junior Championships 2010, Midland Windsurfing Association Round 5, The Rutland Marathon

Rutland Water
Rutland Water

Rutland Water welcomed just over 150 windsurfers last weekend, with the camping field packed and the shoreline covered in the brightly coloured rigs, all but the formula fleet were set for a great weekend’s racing. The race site was a picture with the UKWA and the RYA coming together to put on a spectacular show. Three Marquees greeted competitors with Flags fluttering and all the latest information and promotional banners on display.

Sun cream was the order of the day on Saturday and by the evening anyone who had forgotten was glowing a bright red. The wind was light and shifty, unusually for Rutland blowing from the North, offshore from our location at Whitwell and setting a course was always going to be difficult.

The welcome briefing was soon over and all the raceboard fleets headed out on to the water. Under the new sailing instructions the race officer Mike Dempsey used the course board to change the designated course to leeward two laps for all fleets. A wise choice with the wind swinging from left to right and back any other course would have been useless. There was however either great skill or was it great luck required to get those lay lines right and at no time were the race leaders safe from a random individual performance. Two rounds of racing were held and everyone went back to shore for a short lunch break.

During the lunch break the wind built slightly and Mike called out the Formula fleet. Unfortunately it did not hold and despite running one counting race the wind was poor throughout. That was the end of formula racing for the weekend. We thank the fleet for its support despite the poor forecast. After a short lunch break Mike called the raceboard fleets out for one more round of course racing. With one minute to go the race crew had laid three separate windward marks removing the unwanted two at the last possible second to make the course as true as possible. Sailors returned to shore for the Rutland Marathon briefing with sailors taking care to study the detailed plan of the lake and the relevant rounding buoys.

Junior course race officer Mike Roberts suggested starting the 43 juniors first and what a spectical it was. With the main course sailors having a gate start some five minutes after the juniors it was not long until all 150 sailors were heading down the arm to the water tower. What an effort from the 3.5, 4.5, and 5.8 sailors, it was a long way for the older fleets in such light winds and they should be extremely proud of their efforts in supporting the ‘action for children’ charity.

The UKWA has supported this event for many years and our sincere thanks to the trade for supporting the T-shirt given to sponsored sailors. A display of Tshirts from the last 25 years could be seen proudly hanging in the race office, with some dated designs causing great amusement. Despite two hours plus of pumping many competitors enjoyed the evening entertainment of ‘human table football’ laid on by the RYA.

At 7.30 the human table football gave way to the real thing with many sailors crowding into the marquee to watch England take on the USA in the first of their World Cup Games. The roof nearly came off after just 4 minutes as England took the lead but the less said about the remainder of the match the better. Free beer and coke courtesy of Heineken UK did ease the pain slightly.

The forecast for Sunday was not promising but just before lunch Mike called out the ‘crash test dummies’ to try out the light and shifty winds. Traditionally this honour falls to the junior 6.8 & 7.8 sailors, but Mike breaking with tradition called the more mature raceboard fleet out on to the water. Despite their scepticism three rounds of racing were held and some tight and extremely tactical racing made for an exciting day. The juniors and the ‘Formula One’ RS:X fleet joined the raceboard sailors and both had two rounds of racing.

Our sincere thanks to event sponsors Boardwise and Overboard, and to all those who sponsored the Rutland Marathon T-shirt.

To all those who volunteered their time on and off the water to make this year’s event such a great success.

Rutland Marathon

So far the Rutland Marathon 2010 has raised £2547. Thank you to all the RYA & UKWA competitors who made such an effort this year to raise sponsorship.

Photograph by kind permission of Michelle Roche ( MRocheImages )

Marathon winner 2010 Paul Leoni (raceboard 9.5)

RYN National Junior Champions 2010

3.5 Rebecca Kent

4.5 Open Paul Carbis

4.5 Ross Warren

5.8 Lou Brown

UKWA Inland Championships

6.8 Robert York

7.8 Kieran Martin

RS:X Conner Bainbridge

Raceboard Mark Kay

Formula Keith Atkinson

Rutland Marathon winners
Rutland Marathon winners
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