Wimborne Athletic Club

Home                Club Info                Cross Country                Road Running                Sportshall                Track & Field


WACers play a part in Olympic handover

On Sunday 24 August Weymouth and Portland celebrated the Beijing-to-London Olympic Games handover, as the Olympic sailing events are to be based in Dorset in 2012. Wimborne AC, and a number of other organisations were invited to take part in a huge Olympic flag relay. The Harveys, Kirkpatricks, Vaughan-Johnceys and Kennedys all took part in this once in a lifetime opportunity.

In this prestigious event, at 3pm the first flag was waded out to sea, and placed on board My Girl, one of the surviving little ships from the evacuation of Dunkirk in World War II, as it set off on its journey to the Cenotaph on Portland via Castle Town harbour. Flag 2 was dragon-boated to Weymouth harbour on its way to Nothe Fort, and flags 3 and 4 were carried by foot relay. Flag 3 via Town Bridge and the Rodwell Trail to the National Sailing Academy at Portland, and Flag 4 along Weymouth seafront to Furzy Cliffs. These four flags eventually ended up covering the four points that mark the extent of the Olympic sailing area.  

Ross, Sansha and Fiona Kirkpatrick collected Flag One from My Girl, handing it over to Maddy, Alexandra and Catherine Vaughan-Johncey. These early legs were only the beginning of a very steep climb from sea level via Fortuneswell to the top of Portland. Puffing and panting the flag was handed over to Laura and Kirsty Harvey. As we advanced to the top, the group of runners proceeded to get bigger, because, once each flagbearer had run their leg, they followed the flag up to the top of the hill to the new ground by Portland Cenotaph.

Left to right: Ross, Sansha, Fiona, Laura, Alex, Catherine, Maddy and Kirsty with the Olympic flag at Portland.

Ian, Jess, Wendy and Callum Kennedy had Flag 3 to run with, which went along the Rodwell Trail, a disused railway trackbed, and they ended up at the National Sailing Academy, the home base for some of our successful Olympians in Beijing. All the flags were raised at four o’clock, and were followed by two minutes of noise.

On Weymouth beach there was a big screen showing the Beijing Olympics closing ceremony, and later live music. In all 124 runners carried the flag. The youngest to run with the flag was just four-years-old and the oldest was an 84-year-old lady from Wessex Orienteering Club who carried Flag 3 on its very first leg. The relay runners were presented with big Olympic 2012 t-shirts. All in all it was a fantastic day, and one which we will not forget easily.

Maddy Vaughan-Johncey


Web Design by