Big turnout for Helford River Sailing Club's two-day regatta
2:45pm Friday 20th July 2012 in Sport
A TOTAL of 150 sailors aged between nine and 65 competed in a two-day regatta at Helford River Sailing Club (HRSC) last weekend.
Enjoying force-four westerly winds, and with only one downpour, the event was part of the RYA Sail for Gold initiative which celebrates and supports the Team GBR sailors who are about to start their 2012 campaign.
Saturday's racing involved three windward/leeward course races and one regatta course race for a fleet of Hunter 707 yachts and a Portsmouth Yardstick handicap fleet. Hunter 707 winner was Phil Samuel in Red Snapper, with Phil Badger in Wildebeest second and Ed Bolitho in Miss Moneypenny third. Winner of the handicap fleet was Chris Symes in Valkarie, with Andy Dennis in Orijin second and Miles Kirkby in Supergroove third.
On Sunday, there was a five-race series for two classes of dinghy - a handicap fleet and an RS Feva fleet - which formed part of the RYA OnBoard Cornwall Travellers Series.
The competitors were joined by young sailors from St Mawes Sailing Club, Rock Sailing Club and Helford River Children’s Sailing Trust who learned to sail with RYA OnBoard, the scheme that introduces children of all backgrounds and abilities to sailing and windsurfing.
Elliot Wilkinson and Tristan Calverey from St Mawes Sailing Club won the Feva fleet, with Matt Chaplain and Laura Vinton from Rock Sailing Club in second place and Freddie and William Barnes from
St Mawes in third. In the handicap fleet, Bob and Jack Warren from Restronguet Sailing Club were the winners, with Phil Samuel second and Adam Mason third.
In the third race, young Optimist sailors Sam Philpott and Finlay Walsh-Newton came through to finish first and second, and claimed the under-18s prize for the handicap fleet.
Phil Samuel was a medal winner on both days, taking gold on Saturday and silver on Sunday sailing his Laser. Claire Sharp was the first lady helm.
After Sunday's racing, HRSC laid on a cream tea for competitors, before the prize giving which involved an Olympic-style podium constructed by local carpenter/joiners Ollie Chamberlain and Ed Bolitho. Both men competed on both days of the regatta, even risking a bronze medal placing in Ed's 707 Miss Moneypenny on Saturday, so they successfully put their craftsmanship to the test.
Mark Belshaw, RYA Regional Club Coach and OnBoard Development Officer, said: “HRSC has put a lot of effort in to make this a memorable event - a lot of people have worked very hard to make things
work - especially the dinghy and yacht captains Beccy Kestin and Chris Symes.
The event was really well supported and we had a great couple of days’ racing, with an Olympic theme to celebrate the 2012 games and support our team GBR sailors."
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. For more information visit the OnBoard website www.ruob.co.uk.
To find out more about Sail for Gold programme visit www.rya.org.uk/sailforgold .