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Birkett 2017 stickers from Ovington

by Sue Giles, UYC on 23 Jun 1-2 July 2017
What a fantastic range of dinghy classes - Lord Birkett race start at Ullswater 2017 © Paul Hargreaves

Boats racing in the Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy on Ullswater over the weekend of July 1 and 2 will have a new look this year with help from top boatbuilder Ovington.

Ovington Boats are providing hull stickers for the 230 boats taking part in the race organised by Ullswater Yacht Club which last year won the Cumbria Tourism Event of the Year Award. The event has proved to be so popular this year that entries were full a week before the closing date.

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'. All boats race from one mass start with the line stretching across the full width of the lake. On Saturday they race down the lake, a distance of about seven miles, round an island at the southern end, and back. Then they do it all again on Sunday – with both races to count.

"Identifying all the boats taking part in the event is an important part of our safety procedure and we are delighted that Ovington Boats are helping us by providing hull stickers for all boats," said Birkett co-ordinator John Robinson.

A traditional feature of the event is the Saturday Birkett Cruise run by Ullswater Steamers. The cruise will leave Pooley Bridge pier at 12.30pm and follow the racing down to Kailpot Crag where the Lord Birkett memorial plaque is placed and will again have an on-board commentary from members of UYC. Families and friends can follow the racing at close hand on the water and experience some of the excitement. Please book direct with Ullswater Steamers via their website www.ullswater-steamers.co.uk

UYC is on the North-east shore of the lake about two miles from Pooley Bridge on the Howtown road. For more information about the Birkett visit the UYC website or email

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