On the final Saturday before half term the junior sailers were able to put their newly acquired skills into practice with a match against Prince's Mead. The Saturday morning saw 20 very eager, although somewhat nervous, girls meet the older, bigger and more experienced Prince's Mead sailors for the first time.
The girls in their teams, a beginner crewing for an improver helm, were ferried out to boats that had already been rigged and were waiting in the river. Once the parents were kitted up in waterproofs and were safely aboard the spectator ribs the race committee started the racing. Before all the boats had completed the first lap of the course, the perfect light winds had picked up and it had become rather gusty. Initially all the girls coped well, and our more experienced girls were holding their own, however the increasing winds gave the stronger Prince's Mead teams the upper hand as they were more capable of handling the boats in the roughening seas.
As the weather conditions deteriorated the number of capsizes increased and the safety boat teams had their work cut out. Soon the decision was made to abandon racing and get all the children safely ashore, much to the disappointment of the children. However, the girls showed extremely sensible and mature attitudes and followed the instructions that they were given as we abandoned racing. Well done everyone.
Although Prince's Mead scooped both 1st and 2nd places the Bracey-Davis boat (Olivia Bracey and Agnes Davis) claimed 3rd for St. Swithun's.
Special mentions must go to Serena Trant and Emily Hone for their spectacular capsize. Also to Annabel Yeatman and Maya Gandee Morgan for handling their 'tricky capsize situation' so sensibly, Maya was particularly brave especially when she later required several stitches. And finally to Lula Goldring for her never-ending enthusiasm, determination and wicked sense of humour throughout all of the sessions.