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Delph SC Duo take Honours at Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy at Ullswater Yacht Club

Delph SC Duo take Honours at Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy at Ullswater Yacht Club

Rounding Wall Holm Island

 It was truly a race of two halves with high performance skiffs dominating the results on the Saturday and the traditional boats having their day in the sun on the Sunday when first place went to a Wayfarer sailed by Charles and David Chandler of Olton Mere S C.

 With an eleventh on Saturday and a fifth on Sunday, Chris Pickles took the trophy, just one point ahead of Richard Stenhouse of Rutland SC in a Musto Skiff. Local boys Matty and James Lyons in a 49er, the overnight leaders, were third.

 After a wet and wild Friday, the sun came out on Saturday bringing 14 knots of breeze from the South-west turning the iconic long distance race into an ideal windward/leeward course. The celebration event was first raced in 1963 in honour of Lord Norman Birkett who died two days after making a successful speech in the House of Lords which prevented Ullswater from becoming a reservoir.

 Every year since then, the club has held the prestigious two-day long distance race in which boats sail the full length of the lake round an island, and back, in memory of the ‘Saviour of Ullswater.’

 The event regularly attracts an entry of more than 200 and this year was no exception with 210 boats on the start line which stretched right across the width of the lake.

 Ninety passengers on board the Ullswater ‘Steamer’ the Raven on a Birkett Special got a superb view of the racing at close quarters as it took up position next to the start line and then followed the fleet.

 Two 49ers soon took the lead with Birkett veteran and record six-times winner Lester Noble, of UYC, crewed by John McAfee, first to Wall Holm island, followed by the Lyons brothers. They stormed back down the lake with their spinnakers up, the ‘young pretenders’ eventually taking the lead. The two 49ers finished in just 1hour 26 minutes, a full 15 minutes ahead of the next boat.

 The ideal skiff conditions were reflected in the corrected results with nine out of the top ten boats trapezing skiffs – all from Ovington Boats. The non-trapeze boat in the top ten was Ovington’s new racing machine the VX One sports boat helmed by Anne Noble of UYC.

 But everyone who has been to the Birkett knows that it’s never over until the last boat has crossed the Sunday finishing line. This year it was an Open Canoe with a handicap of 1260 sailed by Graham Dibsdall who stuck it out to complete the course just seconds before the six hour time limit, to rousing applause from spectators on the shore. He had missed the Slee’s of Winskill ice cream van by about three hours, but he had done it and came 167th overall.

 Sunday brought lighter and more fickle winds, but still from the same general South-westerly direction. The two 49ers were again first to the island, this time Matty and James Lyons were in the lead and maintained the gap to be back to the club in good time for the ice cream van.

 But behind them the shifting winds and patches of flat calm created frustrating conditions and by the time the fleet reached the island, fast and slow, traditional, skiffs, trapeze boats and cruisers were all in the mix. Just to add another ‘Birkett touch’, as the slower boats were on the run back  to a buoy at the Northern end of the lake, a Northerly breeze kicked in turning it into a beat.

 This created a dilemma for the back markers who were stuck in no wind in the middle reach. Would the Northerly get to them in time to complete the course in six hours? Graham Dibsdall in his Open Canoe was determined to give it a go, as were young rising stars Robert Richardson and Abi Thornley of Royal Windermere Yacht Club in a Mirror. They kept calm until the wind reached them and completed in course in good time – and in true Birkett spirit with smiles on their faces.

 On corrected time the traditional boats did well with the top four on Sunday a Wayfarer, a Firefly, then two Enterprises. But a fifth by Chris Pickles was enough for him to win the coveted Birkett Trophy and a Garmin VRIB GPS Elite action camera. The event was part of the Garmin Summer Series.

Report and pics by Sue Giles

2014 Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy Results

For more sailing in wonderful surroundings and with great hospitality join us at:  Ullswater Keelboat Event - July 12 & 13; Ullswater Regatta - August 9 & 10; Ullswater Week - August 11-15; Ullswater RS Event - September 13 & 14. Details on the website.

Overall winners:

1.     Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman, RS 400, Delph SC, 16

2.     Richard Stenhouse, Musto Skiff, Rutland SC, 17

3.     Matty and James Lyons, 49er, UYC, 19

4.     David Exley and Nigel Hall, RS 400, Leigh & Lowton SC, 19

5.     Hamish and Rachel Gledhill, RS 400, West Riding SC, 31

6.     Rob Shaw and Ian Little, Osprey,  Kielder Water SC, 31

 Class prizes:

Musto Skiff: Richard Stenhouse, Rutland SC, 2nd

RS400: Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman, Delph SC, 1st

Osprey: Rob Shaw and Ian Little, Kielder Water SC, 6th

F15: Mike Moore and Kayla Sheard, Bassenthwaite SC, 10th

Albacore: Judy and Paul Armstrong, Scaling Dam SC, 12th

GP14: Andy Smith and Phil Hodgkins, Bassenthwaite SC, 45th

Streaker: Ben Ratcliffe, Scammonden Water SC, 67th

RS200: Alistair and Thomas Coates, Leigh & Lowton SC, 42nd

Laser: Anthony Dawson, UYC, 32nd

Cruiser: Dave Atkinson and Team, J70, Sunderland YC, 69th

Fireball: Lucy Boreham and Richard Anderton, Chichester YC, 8th

Ullswater ‘Steamers’ Trophy (52nd boat past Birkett plaque on Saturday): Edmund Clarke, RS 800, UYC 

 

 

Dalemain Trophy (Visiting club with most entries): 

Scaling Dam SC 

 

Under-18 Trophy (Best UYC Under 18): Jayne Golden, RS 200

Mike Barnard Trophy (Best UYC Under 21): Tom Neilson, Laser

 Barclays Bank Trophy (Best place UYC): Matty and James Lyons, 49er

 Tortoise Trophy (Lowest placed boat sailing both races): Simon and Lorraine Nichol, RS 400, Chester SC



Posted on 08 July 2014 (Archive on 05 August 2014)
Posted by 1047  Contributed by 1047
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