Sailing season is finally underway

The 2012 season kicked-off at Burwain Sailing Club at the weekend.

After a delay of two weeks due to the lake freezing over, the first racing season took place on Sunday.

Two races were sailed in bright sunshine and moderate winds, with 10 boats out on the water.

Both races were won by Innes Armstrong with 16-year-old Jamie Partridge crewing in their GP14.

A number of teams from Burwain Sailing Club will be going to the GP14 World Championship at Looe in Devon in August, and this was the start of their preparations for the event.

Michael Leake scored a second and a third in the two races in his Streaker singlehanded Dinghy.

The Brass Monkey Series will be decided over the remaining two races next Sunday.

The full program of racing on Saturdays and Sundays commences on the second weekend in March. Training courses for beginners also start on Saturday, March 10th.

Meanwhile, the club, based on Burwain Lake near Foulridge, is supporting national initiatives to get more people involved in sport, based on the interest created by the London Olympics.

Patrick Hamilton, Commodore of Burwain Sailing Club explains: “Sailing is a sport that can be enjoyed by everyone, from kids to pensioners. It’s something that you can take up at any age. How physically demanding it is depends on the type of boat you want to sail.

“We have always run courses for beginners but this year we will be running more courses than before and working to raise the profile of the club and dinghy sailing locally.

Great Britain has done well in the sailing events at the Olympics in recent years and it’s likely the sailing team will be making a big contribution to the team’s medal count. We hope coverage of team GB’s success will inspire local people to try the sport.”

You don’t have to live next to the sea to be a top sailor. Ian Dobson, who learned to sail at Burwain, was a contender for an Olympic team place, and in the end Stuart Blithell, a sailor from Rochdale’s Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club was selected in the 470 class.

The club are having an Olympic-themed open day on June 9th and will give anyone who wants to give it a try a chance to sail in a race.

Hamilton added: “Sailing suffers from the perception that it is an expensive or elitist sport. In fact it’s cheaper than most sports. We have club boats for hire and good second hand boats cost next to nothing in depreciation when they are looked after. We have Community Amateur Sports Club status and welcome all new members. We have made successful lottery grant applications in the past and currently are applying for funding for three new club boats suitable for beginners.”

For further information, visit the clubs website www.burwain.co.uk