Junior Race Week 2021 Report & Results
Junior Race Week 2021 - as close to normal as we could get it apart from the wind!
Junior Race Week made a much-anticipated return this July following the lifting of covid restrictions!
With over 60 sailors across four fleets and on shore and race safety teams ready for a great week of racing, the first day started with steady winds. Red and blue fleets had a good day of sailing, with green and gold fleet starting sailing activities with fun water-based activities.
Day 2 saw red and blue fleets pack in the races in anticipation of strong winds the following day, with green fleet starting racing near the club and gold fleet manoeuvring up and down Mengeham creek. Sailors returned to shore tired, elated and having enjoyed an excellent day of sailing, with many sailors testing themselves well in favourable sailing conditions.
Tuesday evening's activities included the ever-popular fish and chip van, and a very popular outdoor set with club singing sensation Ellie Muggridge, with many people dancing into the evening. This was followed by a spectacular thunder and lightning storm and strong winds which kept campers fully occupied early into the morning.
On Wednesday racing was cancelled due to strong winds; the club has an amazing group of Instructors who quickly arranged a water-based Olympics! Fleets were divided into mixed ability groups and assigned nationalities, with the instructor team making the coveted Team GB. Much fun was had by all, with Team GB soundly beaten by smaller and more agile teams!
Thursday saw winds of 18 gusting 22, which was within the capability of many of the junior sailors. Red fleet safety team set a great course and safely got the first start underway, but conditions deteriorated rapidly and racing was abandoned with all competitors arriving safely ashore and quickly getting on with Mengeham junior traditions of swimming and mudlarking.
Blue fleet didn't go sailing due to the conditions and green and gold fleets had racing and sailing activities closer to the club; many Mengeham juniors from red and blue fleets supported younger sailors with these activities, particularly enjoying capsize practise.
On Thursday evening the famous Junior Disco took place outdoors and was described by seasoned Junior Week participants as "the best ever"; this event, along with the shore logistics of race week was planned with great care to covid rules by the amazing Sarah Mowbray.
Storm Evert arrived on Friday and with winds gusting 45, sailing was cancelled for the final day. A Junior Race Week with 2 days sailing is unprecedented, but sailors had a great week of sailing and water- based activity and ended the week with prizegiving for fleet winners and water-based Olympics. The Spirit of Mengeham award was presented to Alex Scribbans.
Once all boats and equipment were packed away, our on-shore support team and safety crews enjoyed Crew supper and light-hearted awards for being brilliant which concluded an excellent week!
Junior Race week only works to such a professional level due to the support and commitment of so many club members, new and older, who return year after year to support the week and spend time with friends and family and to enjoy time on the water; to all these people a big thank you for all your time and support.
Roger Kent, PRO