OnBoard 8 Hour Endurance Race for the North West was held at Hollingworth Lake on 31st May 2011.
Two local teams from Hollingworth Lake Activity Centre and one from Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club sought to uphold local honour from the invading teams from all over the Manchester area, from Burwain, Glossop, Astbury, Salford, West Lancs and Bolton.
Eight hours on the water
76 kids in 12 teams had to keep sailing their Pico dinghy round and round Hollingworth Lake all the way through the eight hours. Each lap took about twenty minutes, and like a relay race, teams had to decide their running order, and to work together to plan and carry out quick change overs when a new team member took their turn onboard their Pico.
The eight hour race started in a very light breeze, which built to medium winds by the end. Whatever the breezes, the kids were competing hard to do their best to get the most out of the breezes, as they chased the leaders and tried to hold off their pursuers.
It was Bolton Sailing Club who got the most out of the conditions to go one better than last year’s second place, by winning this year’s 8 Hour Endurance Race. The win came as a surprise, with the team modestly insisting they hadn’t expected to be anywhere near the front of the pack.
Another strong performance was by West Lancs Yacht Club. This team, from Southport, took the prize for Most Improved Team. This team, from the home of endurance racing, were at the back of the fleet for the first hour and a half, and well behind the next team, but they dusted themselves down and rose off the canvas to climb up to sixth by the end. They also took the prize for the fastest lap during their spirited comeback.
All the teams really enjoyed the event. Samantha Roberts of Hollingworth Lake Activity Centre said, 'I never thought sailing could be so much fun!' Burwain’s Charlotte Gatty said 'Today was awesome- I was so excited this morning!'
RYA OnBoard Development Officer Nathan Scarll said, 'It was fantastic to see the kids enjoying their sailing so much, and coming to this race in such numbers. We have a big network of OnBoard clubs in the Manchester area, so if you would like to try out sailing, get in touch.'
Run by the RYA, OnBoard is a grass roots programme which introduces sailing and windsurfing to young people aged 8 to 18, through schools, youth groups and training centres.
Over a ten year period OnBoard aims to introduce a minimum of 500,000 children to sailing and windsurfing in the UK, converting over 10% of them into regular participants. So far it’s nicely on track. RYA website OnBoard website