The 2019 Loughborough Lemming was our first away event of the year. We brought along two teams so we could give our new members experience in team racing. From the nine Reading sailors in the team, four were new to sailing, it was an important time for our new members as they got to sail with more experienced sailors.
Upon arrival on the Saturday, we were greeted by thick fog, which to many of us was a relief as it gave us time to compose ourselves from the social the night before. However, as 9:30 came around the fog was not clearing making Burton Sailing Club feel more like the Arctic Tundra, racing looked unlikely. Despite a brief break in the fog at midday the conditions persisted, and racing was canned by 2pm.
The next day everyone was keen to get some racing under our belt. Reading Red (our first team) consisted of 3 experienced sailors and 3 new members paired up for experience. The day started slowly as everyone was learning. Scarlet Manzoni (Commodore) helming for her first event of the year sailed with crew Bella Boersma and were a very fast boat. Peter Nowell (Vice Commodore) sailed with 1st year Olivia Thirkettle. Peter did an amazing job at calling plays which helped us break down much more experienced teams. Yann Bracegirdle (Race Captain) helmed for Zilah Atfield who learned very quickly. By the end we finished winning half our races placing us in the middle of the fleet. This was a good result for our first event, and we found that we could break down more experienced teams, we just needed to work on our consistency.
Reading Black only consisted of three reading sailors. Despite the numbers stacked against them Lucy Tilbury (social, Helm), James Paus (Helm) and Rebecca Kent (Crew) sailed competitively against very good teams. And despite not winning many races they gained a lot of experience and had fun.
Overall, it was a weekend of learning and despite not getting in that many races, the time on the water was invaluable.