Good Friday saw over 140 competitors take part in the 35th Round Hayling Race. Hosted by Hayling Island Sailing Club, Open Canoes, Stand Up Paddleboards and windsurfers set off from the beach for the 14 mile circumnavigation of the Island. SailRacer's tracking systems were called upon to locate sailors in the mist.
Registration and briefing took place before competitors took to the water.One of the main aims of SailRacer, the event organisers, was to encourage sailing in a safe and friendly environment so at registration all sailors were issued with two telephone numbers to phone or text if the need for help arose.
Despite the drizzle, the eager competitors took to the race course and with the official start performed by the Mayor of Havant Borough Council, the race was underway. Racers set off for Northney bridge when parts of the course suddenly became blanketed in mist. One young lady 14 year old Zoe Davis, re-assurance as to her location in unfamiliar waters was required. Zoe remained calm and called the telephone number issued at registration for help. The safety plan was immediately brought in to action and using the information being logged by the SailRacer computers via the GPS trackers, it was possible to get Zoe's exact location on the water from her personalised tracker. Safety crews in ribs on the water were notified by radio and the rescue implemented. With mum in the event office, SailRacer were able to give her the location of where Zoe had been taken to safety so she could be collected. Meanwhile Zoe's dad had come ashore before he completed the race and was thought to be in a similar vicinity. Again by using the data collected by his individual tracker his position could also be located. Zoe and her Dad were picked up and returned to the office safe. Although neither completed the course, Zoe was delighted to have sailed further than her Dad and now has the tracking evidence to prove it