Archive for June, 2011
29th Jun 2011 Posted in: Sport 1
Blaze Sailing UK National Championships 2011

Having grown up living within a mile from the sea on the south coast of England it was difficult to not get drawn into some sort of on the water activities when I was young – be it fishing, surfing, sailing… I went down the route of sailing/windsurfing (which reminds me – I need to post a blog soon with some recent windsurfing photos!) and spent most of my teenage years sailing out of Felpham Sailing Club – which is a mile or so from Bognor Regis in West Sussex. ¬†Although we don’t live in Felpham we’re members of the club (I’ve been a member for over 25 years) and know many of the members and like to help out when I can.

This past weekend was the Blaze National Championships which were being held at Felpham Sailing Club so I took this as an opportunity to combine volunteering at the event and also take photos.

The event was over three days and I was only available on the Friday and Saturday (as on Sunday I was back up in West London photographing the Richmond Park TT bike race) and we had some fantastic sailing conditions – well, they were fantastic if you like a good breeze and don’t mind getting wet!

On Friday I spent the day on a couple of different rescue boats out at sea and when I wasn’t actively helping sailors who were in difficulty (I had to jump into the water on a couple of occasions to help out) I was taking photos. Friday was the windiest of the two days and two races were completed in the afternoon.

On Saturday I was on the water helping/photographing for about 4.5 hours and didn’t have to jump in the cold water once! Result.

Although I had to head off on Saturday evening (after the sailing club BBQ and a pint of course ;) it was actually kind of fortunate as a heavy fog rolled in during the morning and didn’t lift until the prize-giving took place later in the day!

For a detailed race report please see the Yachts & Yachting website and for my set of photos (over 250 of them) please visit the Blaze National Championships 2011 gallery.

28th Jun 2011 Posted in: Sport 1
Prologue London Dynamo Richmond Park Time Trial

Richmond Park – close to where we live – is a fantastic location for cycling and on any day of the week you’ll always find people out cycling – whether for pleasure, commuting or training. One thing that doesn’t happen often in the park is racing – there’s a speed limit of 20mph in the park and police are often there looking out for law-breakers. This didn’t stop professional cyclist David Millar doing a circuit of the park at just under 30mph a couple of weeks ago (it was filmed and available to watch on the BBC website but subsequently taken offline).

If you want to legally race your bike around the park as far as I know you could either enter the London Duathlon or take part in one of the excellent Prologue London Dynamo Richmond Park Time Trial (TT) events. These events started in August 2009 and now seem to be firmly established in the cycling time trials calendar. The most recent event and first of 2011 was on Sunday (26 June).

20th Jun 2011 Posted in: Sport 1
'Strictly Cycling' Bike Fest

Now that we’re well into June and the British Summer has passed the weather was looking very unpredictable for the Bike Fest 2011 – the culmination of a number of different activities and events that have been taking place in the London Borough of Richmond over the past few months.

‘Strictly Cycling’ Bike Fest 2011 was organised by Twickenham Cycling Club and together with people from the London Borough of Richmond, the local Police Cadets and other local organisations an event was held at Old Deer Park on the afternoon of Sunday 19th June.

Thankfully the weather was (relatively) kind with only a little rain during the afternoon activities – but it certainly didn’t put a dampener on anything. As well as a ‘Sprint Lane’ and ‘Skills Arena’ (for the children) the main focus was on the grass track – where races were held all afternoon. From races such as the Under 8 year olds ‘dash’ to an 8km British Cycling Regional Championship race (with some ‘devil takes the hindmost’ and ‘keirin’ races in between) there was plenty of action to be had on the grass – especially in the ‘mums and dads’ race!

With British Cycling supporting these events there were a selection of bikes that could be borrowed by anyone on a turn-up-and-try basis which was great.

From a spectators point of view I thought the event was run extremely well and with a busy programme of events it kept the youngsters busy all afternoon. More events are being planned over the coming months including a 65 mile sportive ride in July and then in September there will be cyclo-cross training and league racing.

In 2012 the plan right now is to do more of the same but bigger and better…. and hopefully more sunshine, advertising and people in attendance.

For the set of photographs that I took please visit the ‘Strictly Cycling’ Bike Fest 2011 photo gallery.