Bainbridge Brothers bring home the medals…
This year’s Youth and Masters event, which was held at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy on Portland Sound, was an exceptional event. Many of this years UK racing events have been low wind affairs, so with winds averaging in excess of 25 knots and gusting over 50 knots all weekend, this was going to be an event to remember.
With over 170 sailors attending and the biggest Techno Fleet seen at an RYA event, day one became an exercise in stopping kit from flying across the rigging area into the sea, with gusts pushing over 60 knots. After an attempt to get the Techno and RSX fleets racing, the safety boats then spent the best part of 2 hours collecting sailors and ferrying them back to base as they were blown towards the harbour wall.
Racing was called off mid-afternoon on Saturday after a very brave slalom event for the Formula Youth and Masters fleets with only 6 Sailors making it around the course.
Sunday started very much as day 1, but without the rain, and it was decided to hold a series of Slalom races for the main fleets and ‘wait and see’ for the smaller fleets.
In the Techno 6.8 metre fleet, the sailors opted to wait in the water until the last minute of the start sequence rather than risk the high winds on the start line. Rather than the usual One Design sails, everyone had opted to change down to something more manageable resulting in a plethora of brands and designs. The racing was fast and furious, with scenes of carnage at the gybe marks as the young sailors battled with the strong winds.
Connor Bainbridge, GBR 678, age 12, who is sponsored by Seasprite Sports and Surfstore for Ezzy Sails and RRD Boards managed to complete all 3 races dropping only one gybe, giving him 1st, 2nd and 3rd places and an overall first place. It was a close run competition with Sam Latham and Sam Sills taking 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
Having moved from T15 to Regional UKWA events to National racing this season, this was a wonderful result for Connor who has moved up the rankings in the Techno 6.8 fleet during the season. The conditions were definitely in Connor’s favour, as he prefers higher wind events.
In the 3.5 metre open fleet race, which was held in the slightly less windy area in front of the Sailing Academy, Kai Bainbridge, GBR 679, aged 11, raced well in what was a very crowded event and after 3 races he placed 3rd Boy and got a bronze medal to prove it. Connor and Kai both sailed on Ezzy wave sails
In the 7.8 metre Techno fleet, Jacob Brubert won Gold.
Thanks and admiration must go to the organisers and especially the Safety Crews, for turning an event, which could have been a disaster into a very exciting competition.
Connor Bainbridge is sponsored by Seasprite Sports and Surfstore for Ezzy Sails and RRD Boards and is mentored by Jem Hall. For more information on how it feels to windsurf in Youth and Junior events and for fun across the UK, then please visit www.rednemesisdog.com