In blustery conditions, Britain's top Olympic sailors joined our top youth sailors in an exhibition race next to the marina at the Southampton Boatshow
Iain Percy and Stevie Mitchell, racing with the 11-year-old Saxton twins Ben and Tim, just managed to edge out the ladies’ team of Shirley Robertson, racing with Blue Peter presenter Matt Baker, and the Rawlinson sisters, Emma and Victoria at the Volvo RYA Youth-backed fun regatta at the Southampton Boatshow.
The racing was cut and thrust throughout. The boys made and excellent start around the triangle course but Iain Percy dropped from hero to zero when he capsized, losing his lead and leaving teammate Stevie Mitchell frantically squirming to control the two ladies’ boats.
Mitchell did stirling work, sailing the second-placed Rawlinsons all over the track while Iain Percy and his young crew sorted themselves out. With the Rawlinsons out of the picture temporarily, Shirley Robertson took the lead briefly but was muscled out by a strong luff from Percy, back on terms and still bailing.
Approaching the final mark, Shirley headed for the right-hand side of the beat, hoping for a little more breeze but it was the yellow boats of the boys that slipped across the line first, sandwiching the Rawlinsons and leaving Shirley to bring up the rear.
All this and Ellen MacArthur too. It’s all happening here at the Southampton Boatshow.