Yesterday I had a bit of free time on my hands and after finding out during last week that one of my cousins was sailing in the West Lancashire Yatch Club’s 40th 24 hour race I decided to go and have a look at the start of the event on Marine Lake, Southport.
My cousin and her husband both sail for Ogston Sailing Club and each of them were doing a couple of 2 hour shifts throughout the race. Ogston had 3 boats competing this year consisting of masters (over 40’s), fast and everything else crews, all in Enterprise class boats.
The event was very well attended and the weather was fantastic.
The wind coming across the lake made some good speeds possible and it was not unusual to see the small boats plane across the water – especially the GP14 class as pictured here which was able to take a spinnaker (the light blue sail) to catch even more wind.
It was good to have a little insider knowledge into the ‘mechanics’ of sailing and after a while I began to realise that I had underestimated the skill involved in sailing these tiny boats around Marine Lake. Something that previously seemed so mundane took on a whole new aspect once I’d listened about how the wind gusts differently around the islands and even bounces off buildings close by.
This image is of an Enterprise class catching a good breeze and putting on a bit of speed. The Enterprise is easily recognised by it’s blue sails. The other class of boat entered is the Lark – again a very fast boat, able to take a lot of sail.
I was impressed by the organisation of the crews from all over the area – most of them had large support units able to mend the boats, keep time or just give support into the night for those sailing in the dark (I drove past them at 5.30 this morning but more on that later).
Once the race was started I made my way back to the car along the top of the bank separating the lake from the main road.
I was pleased to see that the area surrounding the lake was in very good condition and to see so many families out walking or even having a picnic while watching the sailing.