So we hired the Lasers, phoned four local families who then arranged with their schools that they may be taking a day off at short notice, designed the sails to show 1 0 0 0 when sailing one behind each other along with the official London 2012 and Team Dorset logo, sought permission with the land owner at the Lulworth Estate to use stunning and geologically famous ‘Durdle Door’ along the Dorset coast…All we needed now was a weather window to capture the image.
Within a few days of making all the arrangements the long range weather forecast was giving Tuesday 13th of October as our window of opportunity. Armed with lots of snacks and bottles of juice the team of four sailing instructors, four local children, two drivers, one photographer and myself set off in two rigid inflatable boats each towing two lasers.
The journey from Portland Harbour across Weymouth Bay was made perfects as we basked in, glorious autumn sunshine that sparkled on water that was so calm it was positively inviting to jump into.
Once on location each Laser was precariously rigged with sail and mast on the water and a young sailor and instructor placed in each boat. Then the reality of what we were trying to achieve dawned on us: little wind, moving tide and a big ask for each Laser to sail so very close to each other with only the elements and skill of the helm to achieve this.
The signal to get into position was delivered: ‘First 0, second 0 third 0’…excitement mounted…‘Looking good’…’Come on number 1, catch up’ – arghh lost the moment…’Ok, all back into positions…’ Had we tried to be too clever??? – maybe the skydiving picture would have been easier??
At this point, though, embarrassing though it is, I have to admit the first time we did finally manage the shot we realised the ‘1’ was back to front…But through pure determination, a following wind, skill and an element of luck, we eventually managed what at one time was looking like mission impossible.
The excitement could be contained no longer as most of the children jumped into the crystal clear water.
The journey back was full of back slapping and joyous faces, especially from the four youngsters who had just been involved in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in marking the ‘1,000 days to go’ milestone until their home town of Weymouth and Portland would be involved in hosting the biggest and most spectacular sporting event in the world.
The efforts are captured in the video I took while the youngsters were doing their stuff...A good day's work all round – what's next???