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The annual Loughborough Lemming was held on the weekend of the 30th-1st December at Burton Sailing Club by Loughborough Students Sailing & Windsurfing, with 20 teams in attendance.

Friday night saw most competitors descending on Loughborough Students’ Union for registration at JC’s bar, before returning to town to locate their host houses for the weekend. A couple of hours later it was back to LSU for the renowned FND for everyone except the SSS team, who were hosting their own Friday social somewhere on the M6.

It was perhaps a relief for the race committee Saturday morning when they arrived at the club to find Foremark reservoir completely covered in freezing fog. A short postponement began, luckily for those teams and volunteers delayed by the success of Friday night’s social.

However, as 9.30am rolled around, mild relief quickly turned to mild panic when the reservoir was still nowhere to be seen. With conditions more resembling the Arctic Circle on a bad day than the Derbyshire countryside, cue several hours of race committee fog staring, competitor napping and umpire tea drinking.

Despite a brief period of excitement around midday when the sun almost broke through and the start/finish boats were positioned, by 2pm even Loughborough’s undefeatable optimism that the fog would clear had run out. Teams were dismissed for the day and the course managers headed out to begin the quest of trying to locate the boats that, despite being anchored metres off the pontoon, had now completely vanished….

Festive costumes on, Saturday evening started in true messy style with the pizza and punch party on Loughborough’s campus before teams headed into town. Competitors were thrilled to discover that they were getting their first chance all day to enter a Firefly, although sadly not the floating type. After a few hours of dancing and avoiding the Scottish crackers entering one’s beverage, the night ended for the hardcore in Loughborough’s finest establishment, Echos nightclub.

After the write off day on Saturday, the pressure was on to make Sunday count. The race committee’s fog dances had clearly paid off with volunteers arriving to find that luckily the reservoir did still exist. Despite the absence of a certain event director claimed by Echos the night before, racing got underway promptly with a big shift put in by all to hit 60 races by 2.30pm.

The semis saw four unbeaten teams go head to head. Team Red claimed victory over OTRA whilst Durham Purple took the win over Edinburgh to complete the final. As the wind, light and race committee’s will to live began to disappear, first to 3 wins became a sudden death final. Team Red claimed their third consecutive Lemming title, with Durham Purple in second and OTRA winning the petit final to finish third.

Thank you to all the teams for coming, and to our wonderful umpires, caterers and Loughborough volunteers. We had another top weekend and look forward to welcoming everyone back for more madness in 2020!

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