Please select your home edition
SW newsletters (top)

53rd West Lancashire Yacht Club 24 Hour Race - Preview

by Alex Halliwell 19 Apr 02:10 PDT 14-15 September 2019

"We have fun and that's what sailing is all about"

Want to develop some community cohesion whilst having fun sailing? Build links between groups of members? Create a genuine feeling of inclusion at your club? Then the West Lancashire Yacht Club Twenty-Four Hour Race could be seriously good for the health of your club and its members.

Now entering into its 53rd year the West Lancashire Yacht Club Twenty-Four Hour Race is still going strong and has become a Mecca for many clubs who make an annual pilgrimage on mass to this sailing event. Whilst only a handful of clubs have made it to all 52 races so far (no small achievement in itself) there are many clubs who come year on year. It seems that once you come you are hooked on what has been called the 'sailing grand national' and listed in Yachts & Yachting's bucket list of sailing events. The race has certainly enjoyed a resurgence since the nostalgic celebrations of the 50th year (82 entries) and is attracting new and old clubs back into the fold each year. So what is it about this particular blend of sailing and social which may be so beneficial to the health of your club and its members?

Well, the West Lancashire Yacht Club 24 hour race is an event which is uniquely for teams of sailors from RYA affiliated clubs. Clubs may bring a now unlimited number of teams, with larger clubs bringing up to three to four teams and smaller clubs typically bringing one to two teams. This is a great opportunity for a club weekend away together. Unlike other regattas the 24 hour race requires a team of sailors to share one boat and suit of sails and the responsibility for getting the boat round in one piece in a range of conditions. The race is a great leveller where no one sailor is bigger than the team, as the inland type sailing conditions combined with some coastal influences mean that sometimes that sometimes even the national champions are perplexed. This has a great equalising effect and everyone on the team has their part to play.

The endurance nature of the event means sailors and supporters must work together to keep the team and the boat going for the length of the race through the ten hours of darkness and beyond. It's not all hard work though - don't forget you can relax and enjoy the social side of the sailing with friends from other clubs to and the infamous Friday night entertainment. Chill out in the club bar with friends or enjoy the live band and sailors favourite 'Elephant Juice' with DJ enterprise Steve Blackburn.

Our roving reporter Jules Ashworth has been out and about to find out why this event is so addictive. She spoke to Liverpool Yacht Club Commodore Paul Pratt to find out why this event keeps members who race keelboats not dinghies coming back year after year, with the B team sometimes taking line honours for the last boat. For Paul the answer is simple "We certainly have fun and that's what sailing is all about.....All the teams support each other... bringing our elder, younger and less able and members together. It brings a real feeling of community." Whilst the Commodore of Hoylake Sailing Club told Jules that "They have a fabulous pulls all the club together... we sail, we have a drink and we party. Who could want more?"

Both respondents touched on the results of a recent survey of children in sport which shows that to keep children involved in sport they must be having fun and enjoying themselves. It is surely the same for adults too. The 24 Hour Race can be taken as seriously as your team likes and some clubs choose to have a team of relative hot shots and a team who just want to get out on the water and experience the spectacle. Whatever your approach there will be a warm welcome and some competition for you at Southport.

When Jules spoke to university students about the appeal of the race their response was the same as their more mature counterparts (apologies Paul)" I've been coming here for ten years now it's the highlight of my sailing season. There's great socials, great atmosphere, great sailing."

For those of you who like to Pose (Wednesday nights - BBC2) and strut your stuff there's also the opportunity to try and snatch the prize for the most identifiable boat / team from Lancaster University/Plymouth University who take community identify to a higher level by dressing in the teams theme - be it tigers, Minions, bananas, the police, bears, fairies. Just imagine what you could take to the water in this year.....

If all this is making you think our club could have a go at this, it's not too late to get organised and enter this year's excellent team building a event on Saturday 14th/Sunday 15th September 2019 see or our go to our Facebook page at Wlyc24hrRace for more information. You will need a Enterprise, Firefly, Lark or GP14 to take part. We already have 28 teams entered ready to have fun with five months to go.

Revisions to handicaps for 2019 are being published over Easter on the WLYC website

We look forward to welcoming old and new faces in September in sunny Southport with while crossing our fingers for fair winds! See you all then!

Related Articles

West Lancs YC 24 Hour Race
Night-time wind picks up and causes capsizes in the dark It's September, the sun is out and a light breeze is blowing from the south west, it must be time for the Twenty-Four-Hour Race. Yet again we were blessed with lovely warm sunny weather to start our fifty-third race. Posted on 17 Sep
RC Laser TT at West Lancs
Northern District Open With a somewhat favourable forecast and a gentle breeze from the East, it was with excitement to whether we were going to get a bumper crop entry for Sunday's TT at Southport. Posted on 11 Apr
RC Laser & DF95 Winter Series at Southport overall
First time a 'D' rig on a DragonForce has been seen Stormy weather all week with winds hitting over 40mph for some part of every day, would it settle down by Sunday for the last of the series. Posted on 27 Mar
RC Lasers and DF65s at Southport
Two years use for a rudder servo calls for replacement As quick as that and one week on were back to Southport. The drive in along the bouncy promenade road shouldn't be taken too quickly and certainly not straight after breakfast. Posted on 4 Mar
RC Lasers and DF95s at Southport
Trying not to complain about the blinding sun The early morning fog and the mist on the lake was soon burnt off from the continued spell of sunshine that we had been having over the last part of the week. You couldn't really believe that we were still in February. Posted on 25 Feb
RC Lasers and DF65s at Southport
The day begins with almost no wind at all Could it be any worse than our last outing when we barely had more than a breath of wind? Alan's Laser was put to water after he had set a shortened promising course, but the craft was refusing to move. Posted on 22 Jan
RC Lasers at Southport
Some skippers have defected to the Dragon Flight 95 Just for a change, the 2019 sailing schedule had a few changes for the Winter series. The Dragon Flight 95 was to be included in alternate race days with the smaller DF65. Many at Southport have the bigger boat so it seemed a logical addition. Posted on 10 Jan
RC Lasers at Southport
Sharing the lake with a convoy of surfboard-paddling Santas Southport was our venue for the concluding part on the early winter RC Laser Northern series. With the best of three results to qualify, a number of skippers were still out to fill that last place or try and better the results they already had. Posted on 19 Dec 2018
RC Lasers at Southport
Concentration was beginning to fade on the long races One week on and we were into round two of the Northern series across the Ribble into Southport. No fun runs, no cycle races or airshows and noticeably no wind. Well if anything it looked like it was going to be a calm day. Posted on 15 Oct 2018
Larks at the West Lancs 24 Hour Race
Capsizes reshuiffle the leaderboard The 2018 West Lancs. Yacht Club 24 Hour Race took place over 8/9 September. It was superbly organised and was massive for a 'traditional dinghy' event, with 77 entries and around 1,000 participants. Posted on 18 Sep 2018
MBW newsletters (top)