Down in Weymouth a dedicated bunch of kids, Will's Weymouth Warriors, took on an incredible challenge of windsurfing from dawn to dusk to raise money for the Will Mackaness Trust. Over 13 hours on the water, lots of wipeouts and winds of 48 knots...this is their story.
What a day! Arriving at the centre at 0620, it was a bit of a scramble to rig enough big kit (8.0ms and RS:Ones) in time for the team to hit the water at 0646. They made it with moments to spare, then windsurfed skilfully in procession through the pontoons to the east-facing slipway so that they had clear view of dawn breaking. The ‘support team’ then returned to the centre for bacon butties whilst watching the wind steadily increase and the Warriors get planing. And that set the tone for the rest of the day – steadily increasing wind providing increasingly challenging conditions. Just about every size board and sail was used throughout the day, including the tandem – hats off to Lily Young and Tom Wells for providing great entertainment and some of the most awe-inspiring tandem wipeouts we have ever seen!
Mid-afternoon saw the wind gust to 48knots … yet the team kept going (fuelled by enough cake, sweets and donuts to sink the Armada!), albeit tactically forcing the more hardy members of the group to increase their stints on the water. Even if a break was required, everyone stayed in their wetsuits and a designated team member went and stood in the water with the GT-31 tracking device on their arm to ensure that the rules were adhered to! As dusk approached the wind relented slightly, allowing the whole team to venture out for the last 40minutes and take it in turn to fly along the speed strip on a 3.7m and the smallest board many had ever been on! In fact, 1923 (the official time of sunset) came and went and the team stayed out on the water! Tris had to windsurf up to them and encourage them to come back in, much to the relief of the weary supporting parents. Pam Govier, founder of the Will Mackaness Trust, was on the slipway to welcome the guys back in and thank them for all their efforts.
It was a great occasion and one that the Warriors aren’t going to forget in a while. A real team effort – they can be immensely proud of their achievement and the money they have raised for the Charity that is responsible for introducing many of them to the sport in the first place! To make your own donation to the Trust, please click here.
Will’s Weymouth Warriors: Sam Anstey, Alex Blackmore, Josh Squibb, Scotty Stallman, Lily Thomas, Joe Wells, Tom Wells, Lily Young. Honoury members (read big kids): Rob White, Tris Best, Giles Best.
Distance covered: 88.66 nautical miles
Time elapsed: 13hrs 13min (sunrise 0646 – sunset 1923)
Peak speed: 34.32knots
Money raised: £850.00 (correct on 17/09/13)