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Ladies Race at Ullswater Yacht Club on Saturday, May 24

Ladies Race at Ullswater Yacht Club on Saturday, May 24

And it was an event strictly for the birds – the men of the club were only allowed to take part if they were crewing for a lady helm. Winner of the cruiser race, which involved sailing the full length of the lake, around seven miles, round an island at the bottom, and back, was Sam Harding, crewed by Richard Sealby, sailing her Hunter Europa.

Sam, a local vet who works for a practice based at Newbiggin near Penrith, is a regular racer at the club in her cruiser and a past ladies champion.

The dinghies sailed two races at the Northern end of the lake in front of the clubhouse. Race one, in gusty, moderate winds, was won by Julz Noble, of Brougham, near Penrith, crewed by Matty Lyons, sailing a fast asymmetric dinghy, the 49erFX.  Second on handicap was junior sailor Megan Thornley in a Topper and third were Sue and Dave Giles in a Flying Fifteen.

The wind freshened for race two and the winner was Sue Giles with Megan Thornley again sailing well to take second place. Sue and Megan were tied on four points, but Sue took the trophy on the tie-break. Young Abi Thornley made it a family affair by taking third place overall in a Flying Fifteen crewed by her dad John.

Race officer for the event was keen dinghy racer Anne Noble, of Brougham, who was delighted to see so many competitors take part this year, especially the juniors and newcomers to sailing.

Anne, along with fellow sailing instructor Julie Archer, runs regular informal Saturday morning sailing sessions at the club called Ladies Who Launch, aimed at getting more women to enjoy being on the water and she was thrilled that so many members of the group took part in the racing.

“They did really well, I am so proud of them all for taking part,” she said. “Ten of the competitors were part of our group. The idea behind the sessions is to offer something for the ladies in the club who have spent years supporting partners and children who enjoy sailing. Now it’s their turn.”

She added that the sessions offer a chance to get on the water, with no pressure and no formal instruction. But so many ladies have got hooked that they have gone on to take part in structured race training for adults run at the club by RYA qualified instructor Rick Boyce.

Anne Noble, centre, and some of her Ladies Who Launch, rig a Bahia dinghy.

Posted on 27 May 2014 (Archive on 24 June 2014)
Posted by 1047  Contributed by 1047


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