Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Halling sails to victory with a new crew
10:20pm Tuesday 3rd July 2012 in Sport
SOUTHEND sailor Rick Halling was over the moon to clinch a trophy at the Round the Island Race with a crew who had never raced together before.
Halling sailed aboard Jaguar Logic in the 53-mile race around the Isle of Wight at the weekend, which attracted 16,000 sailors.
The 53-year-old, competing in his fourth Round the Island Race, was thrilled as he helped the 38ft monohull to a first place finish in their division of 40, earning them the John Franks Trophy for the fastest IRC sailing school boat.
And they claimed 27th place overall in the handicapped race, finishing in a time of 6hrs 58mins.
The electrician was thrilled with the performance of the nine-strong crew, skippered by Tim Thubron.
“We pay to take part and they mix and match crews up to their abilities and experiences and I knew we had a well-rounded team,” Halling said.
“I’ve done three fastnets with Logic and have sailed with them for the best part of 15 years now and it’s my first Round the Island Race where I’ve come out on top and been with the winning team.
“It is a cracking feeling. The most exciting thing was the start, it usually is, and we got off to a really good one.
“It is all about jockeying for position, it is fantastic.
“I would love for the same crew to be together again next year but the probability is some will drop away and some will be replaced.
“But we’d love another go and to win the whole thing outright next year.”
Halling shared the water with, among thousands of others, Olympic-bound three-time Games gold-medallist Ben Ainslie. He was at the helm of the biggest boat in the race, the 160ft schooner Eleonora.
Halling said: “I honestly didn’t think of who else was out there. I was concentrating too much on what we were doing.
“I know it is a cliché but as soon as you start paying attention to other boats you lose what you are doing and you muck up.
“If you muck up you lose time, so you have to retain maximum concentration.”
Skipper Thubron added: “As we were going around I regularly said to the guys this is going to bowl down to 20 seconds and that is exactly what we beat the next boat by.
“After six-and-a-half hours of racing it doesn’t get any better than that.”
The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is the fourth largest participation sport event in the UK.
Organised by the Island Sailing Club, it is dubbed “Britain's favourite yacht race”, attracting more than 1,800 yachts and 16,000 competitors.
Visit www.roundtheisland.org.uk for more information.