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Kielder Water Sailing Club Open Meeting

by Giles Passmore on 20 Sep 2001

Over the weekend of September 15th and 16th Kielder entertained visitors from as far away as Weymouth along with competitors from local clubs such as Newbigging and Sunderland. As usual Kielder provided some challenging sailing with a splendid force 5-6 North Westerly on Saturday and a fickle force 2-4 Nor Wester on the Sunday. Five races were sailed over the two days for Ospreys, Scorpions, Flying Fifteens, Fast and Slow Handicaps.


Despite a somewhat ignominious capsize at the first mark in Race 1, Mike Taylor and John Willy went on to dominate the proceedings to win this race and the next three to take the meeting and win the 'Aldreds Trophy' in1297. Although the results suggest a walkover the pair were made to work hard by various teams over the series. Don Flannery and Ian Shaw (1163) during race 1, Richard Hewitt and Paul Jamieson (1293) in Race 2 and Rob Shaw and Richard Walker (1292) in race 4. All had their noses in front but 1297 sailed well to overcome these challenges.

Behind them anyone of half a dozen boats was in with a shout for the minor places and enjoyed close racing even in the full conditions of Saturday. In Race 5 Taylor and Willey decided to take an early bath and this allowed Alec Mamwell in 1276 with his third crew of the weekend to snatch first place and clinch second overall. Shaw and Walker were force into third place on count back.

Modern technology has brought us many new dinghies but the sight of a dozen Ospreys reaching down fabulous Kielder Water with kites up and the crews on the wire in a force six is still inspirational and fully befits the boat's 'classic' status.


Proceedings in this class were dominated by past National Champions Dave Woodhead and Jeremy Hannabus in 1947. Second was T Flanagan and Third G Whitfield.

Flying Fifteens:

Strong winds were forecast and they duly arrived for this event, part of the Kielder Water Open Meeting with visitors of various classes from as far South as London. Unfortunately only three Fifteens arrived but two decided not to sail. Only three home boats made it - Newcastle were playing Manchester United.

On Saturday the winds started at 16 - 17 knots gusting to 22 knots then increasing to gusts reaching 26 knots at the clubhouse and more on the water, and with beats just over a mile long it was obviously a case where size matters but with good reaches. Different courses were set for each of the five races over the weekend, which made for an interesting racing programme. Simon Robinson in his new boat 3737 won both Saturday races with Steve Jarvis 2704 and Giles Passmore 3139 changing places and having a good tussle for second place which Steve eventually won - after Giles' spinnaker found a yet undiscovered knotting system with Martin Downey 2648 fourth. Sunday dawned with clear blue skies and a breeze of 6 - 10 knots and three races to be sailed. Steve Jarvis failed to appear. Again Simon Robinson won the three races with Giles Passmore and Martin Downey having a good battle behind him, with Giles eventually finishing ahead. Towards the end of the third race the wind decided that it was not to be forgotten and sent a rain squall that was stronger than anything we had had all weekend. Simon had just finished, Giles was knocked nearly flat and Martin flat - filling up with Kielder Water. All around there were centre boards pointing up where there should have been masts - a keel can be a useful asset!

The sailing had been god with sailors of all classes enjoying the range of conditions.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoClub
1stSimon Robinson3737Derwent Water
2ndGiles Passmore3139Kielder Water
3rdMartin Downey2648Kielder Water
4thSteve Jarvis2704Kielder Water

Fast Handicap:

This fleet was characterised by a duel between Brian and Margaret Heyward in their Fireball and Richard Hartley and his son in a Kestrel. Unfortunately the Kestrel sailed the wrong course in Race 4 and this tipped the balance in favour of the Fireball who, despite a spectacular and crowd pleasing capsize in a vicious squall at the end of the last race, won the series.

Slow Handicap:

Despite a small fleet Gerry McGill and his young son from Sunderland Yacht Club sailed their Mirror to a well deserved series win.

For those who have never visited Kielder Water it is worth pointing out that it is big and provides, on a regular basis, some of the best inland water sailing in Britain. All the competitors were in agreement that, once again, it had provided a brilliant weekend's sailing aided and abetted, it has to be said, by Roger Edwardson's excellent and varied courses.

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