Report written by Dr Ripley, CCF Commanding Officer

Sedbergh teamed up with Bedford Modern school while RGS Lancaster teamed up with St Barts School to form two teams of 5, while Loughborough GS with 8 cadets formed two teams of 4.  The day was forecast for sun, rain, wind and most things in between – we didn’t expect the thunder and lightning which imposed a pause at 3.30 … just in case.  

We tried to incorporate some of the features of the Junior National 12 hour race with honours for fastest first lap, noon lap and “last gasp” final lap.  We kept the course simple – keep the islands to Port throughout and leave the one mark of the course to Port on every lap to help the scorekeepers.  The winning team completed 35 laps with an average lap time of 12 – 13 minutes.  Initially the lead kept changing but it soon settled down once some team swaps in the pit lane had occurred to even out the average ability of the team.

There were some serious wind gusts and shifts which caught a couple of boats out which resulted in capsizes but certainly saw some serious hiking required.  The Marine Lake this year seems particularly shallow and it was rare to be able to put the centreboard down fully even in the centre of the lake.  Depending on how often the crew was prepared to try a bit more centreboard made a lot of difference to the leeway showing some teams able to do the Southerly leg in less tacks than other teams.  

Dark clouds were building over Southport and lightning flashes were seen but that storm passed to the East of us, but meanwhile another storm was brewing to our South  which burst directly overhead causing all boats on the lake to scurry to the shore and “hide” – the rain pounded down causing a mist just of bounce back as the rain drops hit the lake surface.  We had to pause for 15 minutes while it passed overhead before we could renew the race.  

Slowly but surely Sedbergh/Bedford Modern drew ahead and finished two laps ahead of the closest other teams and were the fastest team in the fastest lap races.

Follow Sedbergh: