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Graduate Northern Championship at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club - Day 1

by Alistair Roaf 31 Jul 2016 09:00 BST 30-31 July 2016

On Saturday 30th August, 13 Graduates gathered at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club (during Bass Week) for their Northern Championships with seven different clubs being represented. The forecast was for light northwest winds but this Bassenthwaite.

The start line for race number one had a very strong port bias. Junior team of Bryn Abenstern and Annabelle Coppinger made use of the bias with a perfect pin end start. By now the wind was force three with capricious stronger gusts rolling down from the mountains behind the club house. This meant serious hiking was required with each of the sudden wind accelerations passing over the race track.

The first mark, number one (close to the shore), had a large hole which had becalmed a couple of GP14s. The Graduates, with momentum, had to determine how to get around these additional obstacles. Andy and Sue Flitcroft did best and were first to round the windward mark closely followed by Ben and Gabe Hill, and Chris Parker with Katie Ross in third.

As the boats planed and ploughed around the northern end of the lake, there was close racing throughout the fleet with the Hill brothers taking the lead at one point before the Flitcrofts gained an inside overlap at a leeward mark. Tactical knowledge of the wind was everything as demonstrated by David Ivins and Holly Brooks gaining five places in the final beat. Conversely, Roger and Alison Dooley lost three places when they capsized on their final beat.

The race was won by the Flitcrofts closely followed by Steve Blackburn and Ciaran McKettrick, and then the Hill brothers.

The strong shifty gusts continued into race number two. The start line was now slightly biased to starboard. Good starts were made by Rob and Sally Riddelsdell who rounded the windward mark second, Chris Parker and Katie Ross and the Flitcrofts who quickly took the lead. Chris and Katie's good start was undone when Katie's hair became caught up in the kicking strap requiring them to go head to wind while the kicker and hair were separated!

The Hill brothers were caught going backwards at the start, their worst in a long time. However, this motivated them and by the end of the race they had fought their way up to fourth place. The Flitcrofts maintained their lead and gained a second bullet again closely followed by Blackburn and McKettrick.

Quote of the day, when describing how to deal with the fluky gusting winds, was by David Ivins: "The thing is not to get too depressed." David has raced at Bass week for the past 17 years!

Results after Day 1:

PosSai lNoHelmCrewClubR1R2Pts
13001Andy FlitcroftSue FlitcroftBolton112
22917Steve BlackburnCiaran McKettrickWest Lancs & Southport224
33013Bryn AbendsternAnnabelle CoppingerToddbrook437
43018Ben HillGabe HillWest Lancs & Bolton347
52097Chris ParkerKatie RossSouthport5510
62896Richard AbendsternLewis CoppingerToddbrook7613
72878David IvinsHolly BrooksBolton61016
82901Hamilton RoafAlistair RoafChipstead9817
93016Rob RiddelsdellSally RiddelsdellChipstead81119
103007Paul ClarkEmily ClarkBassenthwaite13720
113004Richard ThorpeJane ThorpeToddbrook11920
121718Liz StockdaleHelen PhillipsRipon101222
132978Roger DooleyAlison DooleyRipon121325

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