Durham School triumph at Southport

Posted on June 29, 2014 12:00 am


Durham School triumph at Southport

Congratulations to our Bosun sailors who took the Simon Dawkins prize for the junior 12 hour race at Southport sailing club.

Five cadets from Durham School Combined Cadet Force Royal Navy Section took part in the National Junior 12 hour Dinghy Race at Southport last Saturday. In this event a team of 4 to 6 people sail one boat for half a day. Pit stops and crew changes are allowed at any time and the results are worked out on average lap times.

Following a slow start Durham was in second place at the end of the first hour. James Hewitt (with Ed Carr as crew) then put in some fast laps and by the end of his stint on the helm was in first place by 10 seconds. William Hewitt then took over on the helm with Peter Lotts as crew and the two of them increased the lead to 20 seconds after. Adam Morris continued the good work when he took over the helm and increased the lead further.

This lead gradually grew to 50 seconds after nearly 10 hours of sailing, at which point disaster nearly struck. A rope caught on the pin holding the shroud, and the mast nearly fell down. James Hewitt kept the boat on the same tack, whilst the safety boat was called and Adam Morris held up the mast on the way back to the pits.

The shore team effected a quick repair and Ed Carr got in to tidy up the ropes and sort out the spinnaker. The boat was out on the course and sailing again before the second placed boat had caught up, though the lead shrank to 10 seconds.

The final two hours saw diminishing winds and team manager Richard Hewitt elected to put out the two lightest sailors (William Hewitt and Adam Morris), with express orders not to do anything rash, but just to keep the boat moving. This they did to perfection and eventually they brought the boat across the finish line having completed one lap more than the second placed team from Loughborough Grammar School.

This is only the second time that Durham School have competed in this competition. Last year the sailors were second, but went one better this time by winning the trophy for the Bosun class.