The Jumbles Junior Race Team, joined with members of the LSSA Race Team to take part in the National Junior 12-Hour Race on 25th June 2016.
Many of the Juniors were still rather sleepy when they arrived for the race briefing at 7am, and with very little wind first thing a quick decision to put in some ‘lightweight’ crew (Daniel then Harriet) was taken. The decision soon paid off as the team moved up through the rankings over the first couple of hours.
Around 10am some more interesting weather blew in from the sea and Jordan took the helm, with Lee as crew. The only instruction, to keep the boat upright! As the rest of the team and supporters dived for cover from the rain and wind, the team disappeared from view behind the island, the supporters waited for them to reappear and they did with shouts about the number of other boats that had capsized! Tired and very wet they handed over to Ali and Kieran who continued to make gains on the teams ahead of us.
The weather then calmed a little and the sun came out and by noon we had made our way up to 13th position. All the practice on Jumbles definitely paid off as the changeovers were the slickest on show, these allowed us to change helms and crew often and still maintain a 12th/13th position throughout the afternoon. The pairings of Izzy and Faye and George and George both worked well although we did have one slight concern when Jordan lost Claudia overboard, but his man overboard practice paid off and as Claudia clung to the shrouds Jordan steered the boat and managed to pull her back in without loosing ground!
As the weather started to come in again, it was a tough call to decide what to do about putting in an Under 14 Helm. With the decision made to give it a go for a lap, 12 year old Lee went out with experienced sailor, Izzy, and the partnership seemed to work well. This was Lee’s first race away from Jumbles, but he showed determination and some excellent sailing to produce some quick laps in difficult conditions, coming 11th under 14 helm and moving us up to 12th position overall.
As our last sailors completed another excellent changeover (applauded by the many teams watching!) those left on shore watched anxiously. The wind was building and as they appeared round the island with 5 minutes to go we saw them overtake another boat into 11th place, by this time the gusts were enough to capsize even the most experienced sailors. We were lying in 11th place with half a lap to go, the team from Burwain crossed the finish line with a 4 minute penalty. The whole team was watching the stop watch count down to see if they could beat the 4 minutes; Ali and George, oblivious to the tension on shore, were waving to us as the whole team cheered. They crossed the line 3 minutes 20 seconds after Burwain to move into 10th place overall and a huge sigh of relief from the Team Managers!
Congratulations go to the whole team of young sailors who achieved their best position yet. Who would have thought that after 12 hours there would be less than a minute between some boats. Coming in the top 10 overall and 6th under 18 team was a fantastic achievement. Every one of the team played their part and their sportsmanship both on and off the water was admirable.