Southport 2018 - 24 hour race

It was the Southport 24hour race and we had agreed to do the cooking. For the team leaders that means a lot of preparation.

I had gone down to Manchester and borrowed all the camping equipment. That meant I had some huge pots, a two burner camping stove and the gas to go with it. The day before Beverley and I were doing nothing else but cooking, or shopping. We had decided to go with a tomato and red pepper soup for lunch. That meant we bought lots of bread, then cooked onions, tinned tomatoes, red peppers and of course the secret ingredient of some sugar, which cuts the bitter taste. Then for tea we were cooking baked potatoes with a variety of fillings. We could get away with baked potatoes as one of the clubs sponsors were providing a comfort station that had a microwave in. Of course we pre-cooked all of the jacket potatoes, which meant that all of the spuds had a nice crispy skin which I love. For the fillings we had grated cheese, beans, chick pea and mushroom curry and a beef and mushroom casserole. Beverley and I had both wanted Chilli, but one of the team leaders pointed out that some people do not like food that has too much spice in. For breakfast the next day we just did bacon butties, although we did have some vegetarian sausages which were never asked for.

As you can imagine, getting a gazebo, the camping equipment, our stuff and the food into our small car, was a bit of a job, but we managed it and was down at Southport bright and early. Or in our case early. bright is not the adjective you should use for two people going "Urg" all the time.

While Beverley and I sorted out the Gazebo and the kitchen, other teams were hard at work getting the dinghies off the trailers and putting them together. Putting everything together and organising the teams requires a lot of effort, but the social side of the 24hour race, is well worth it. We have never ranked really well as far as the results are concerned, but its about getting club members to mix. Go out of their comfort zone and have a laugh.

As well as cooking, Beverley and I were also part of the teams. I was assigned to the B team, while Beverley was assigned to the A team. Initially Beverley had not put herself down for any team, but one of the clubs members was sick, so it was Beverley who took her place. In between cooking, keeping the Welfare unit clean and sailing, we were really busy. I had to tell the B team leader that I was doing too much as he had me down for two sails plus two ground support roles. I did manage the sails and I did help with the ground support, but I allowed myself time to sleep, but how one sleeps scrunched up in a car, I have no idea, but I was so tired, I accomplished the feat easily.

I did manage to do a little bit of filming which is why I found out about sailing for cancer and saw the end of the race which was crazy.

During the sailing both Beverley and I capsized. In Dinghies it is something to be expected, that is why if you do this sport a wet suit or even a dry suit is a good buy. For my capsize, the helmer got the tiller extension wedged in the corner of the dinghy, which made the tiller snap and resulted it us going over. As I went down, I just kept the salient fact that Southport lake is not very deep in my head. So I soon touched bottom and pushed the dingy into shore. As I pushed I felt like the six million dollar man as my run had that slow moo look. Once we got her in, one of out club members fixed the tiller while I bailed. We still completed two more laps of the lake, which is why this is an endurance race.

For Beverley's capsize she had wrapped the sheet around the tiller, which made the dingy turn in a circle until the dinghy gybed violently and she was in with her crew. Dinghies is so much faster than sailing Salty Lass, which is why we fely quite confident going straight from Dingies to Salty Lass. If you can learn to sail in a dinghy then you can make the leap into a bigger boat.

Soon the event was over and all that needed doing was putting it all away. We had eaten all the soup, the vegetarian curry, but we did have some beef casserole left over, which Beverley and I mage cottage pie and Chilli out of.

Raising money for the RNLI

The RNLI turned 200 years old on 4th March 2024. So as sailors and people who promote the joy of sailing, we thought that we would like to raise just £200. What we hope is that other people take up the shout and raise their own £200. In the last 200 years the RNLI have saved over 144,000 lives and yet they are funded entirely by people like you. They are not government funded.

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