Please select your home edition
Zhik 2021 Choice of Champions LEADERBOARD

Graduate Northern Championship at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club

by Alistair Roaf 7 Aug 2017 11:24 BST 5-6 August 2017

At the weekend, 10 Graduates gathered at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club for their Northern Championships. The forecast was for lighter winds on the Saturday with stronger winds developing on the Sunday. However, local geography intervened with strong gusts funnelling through the valley for both races on the Saturday and Sunday morning totally contradicting the forecast.

Saturday's two races were courses criss-crossing the northern end of the lake to catch the westerly winds. As it was Bass week this meant lots of boats in a relatively small area which kept everyone on their toes.

Race one was all about working the gusts across the lake. With a close first beat it was last year's champions, husband and wife team Andy and Sue Flitcroft who eventually took control; with positions constantly changing during the race. The chasing pack consisted of Chris Parker and Ciaron McKettrick, and teenage team Bryn Abendstern and Annabelle Coppinger. The racing was exciting with planing and capsizes. First to finish were Andy and Sue followed by Chris and Ciaron, then grand master David Ivan's with his crew Leanne Pilkington.

Race two was all about remembering the course (or knowing where the buoys were). After another close start the leading pack missed a buoy (you should never follow a GP). Spot on with their navigation were husband and wife Rob and Sally Riddelsdell who took the lead. Eventually, they were passed by Andy and Sue with Chris and Ciaron in hot pursuit.

Race three on Sunday morning started quietly enough. Andy and Sue, and Chris and Ciaron were first round the windward mark. After an initially planing reach the wind eased for the run. The early leaders chose to sail to the right. Unfortunately for them the pressure filled in from the left where son and father team, Hamilton and Alistair Roaf, were waiting. Capitalising on this they were first round the leeward mark. As they sheeted in port tail on their split tail main sheet parted preventing the main from being sheeted in properly and the lead was soon lost.

On the next leg the wind gusted with lots of white horses. This was too much for a few who chose to retire some after a swim. This did not stop the Flitcrofts securing their third win and the championships.

For race four, the rain had started and the wind had shifted to the south and was a relatively steady force three to four which compared to the morning was mild. The race officer used the full length of the lake with the first beat being three miles long. Again the Flitcrofts took the early lead chased by Chris and Ciaron. About half a mile from the windward mark the wind died. After 42 minutes Andy and Sue reached the windward mark. The subsequent reach across the southern end of the lake was a constant search the slightest breath of wind. This allowed the rest of the fleet to catch up with the leaders. The remainder of the course was long broad reaches back to the club house with the wind building again. The Roaf's found this to their liking and were able to work their way to the front and remain first to the finish. Second were Chris and Ciaron, and then Andy and Sue.

Thank you to Bassenthwaite for holding another exciting Northern championship which sets us up well for the Nationals at Bolton in three weeks time.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
13001Andy FlitcroftSue FlitcroftBolton11133
22839Chris ParkerCiaron McKettrickSouthport22226
33013Bryn AbendsternAnnabelle CoppingerToddbrook53DNF412
43016Rob RiddelsdellSally RiddelsdellChipstead444DNC12
52878David IvinsLeanne PilkingtonBolton35DNF513
62901Hamilton RoafAlistair RoafChipstead96DNF116
73007Paul ClarkEmily ClarkBassenthwaite7DNC3616
83006Peter FloryAngela FloryChipstead875DNC20
93004Richard ThorpeJane ThorpeToddbrook6DNCDNCDNC28
101718Liz StockdaleHelen PhillipsRip onDNFDNCDNCDNC33

Related Articles

Graduates at Swarkstone
Great to see juniors in all boats, making it a truly family fun day The day began with such promise, a steady westerly coming down the lake, but as the last boat arrived the wind decided to drop, but hey, Graduates can sail on anything, so it was not going to stop them. Posted on 14 Sep
Graduate Northerns during Bass Week
Close racing, variable conditions and great hospitality The Northerns have been part of the Bass Week scene for the past few years. Following the hiatus for Covid in 2020, the small but enthusiastic Grad fleet were itching to get going again this year. Posted on 13 Aug
Graduate Nationals at Rutland
Held during the club's Battle of the Hikers event In the current circumstances, finding a venue for a nationals event presents a challenge. The Graduate Secretary, Maggie Murrell, persevered and was delighted to be able to arrange for the Graduates to be included in Rutland SC's Battle of the Hikers. Posted on 27 Jul
Graduates at Chipstead
Thirteen entrants race alongside the Heron class The timely relaxation of the COVID rules meant that Chipstead SC were able to run the 2021 Graduate open meeting on 9th May. In common with previous years it was a shared event with the Herons. Posted on 24 May
Cabin fever for the Murrells...
Welcome to driveway Graduate sailing! It's Sunday, the sun is out and the wind is blowing. It would great day for the first sail of the 2020 season, but the clubs are all closed, no-one's about and we're in lockdown, stuck at home. Posted on 6 Apr 2020
Tips for sailing with a young crew
What is different when racing with kids between the age of 6 and 12 Here are some top tips on sailing with young people. The guide covers boat set up, jobs for the crew, sailing techniques, kit and incentives. It is written from the experience of several people who have sailed with kids between the age of 6 and 12. Posted on 25 Oct 2019
Graduates at Swarkstone
The beauty and calm of Swarkestone is very deceptive After several days of strong winds Sunday 8th September 2019 brought brilliant sunshine and a gentle force 2 to Swarkestone Sailing Club in Derbyshire for the return of the club's Graduate Open after a hiatus of seven years. Posted on 17 Sep 2019
Graduates at Bolton
Hard won finishing positions throughout the fleet Three home boats and three visitors competed at the Bolton Sailing Club Graduate Open on 25th August. The standard of racing was very high, resulting in hard won finishing positions at all positions in the fleet. Posted on 26 Aug 2019
Graduate Northerns at Bassenthwaite
A very enjoyable weekend for the fleet With the first race scheduled for the afternoon, the wind forecast was not promising. As expected, it gradually died off through the morning as the fleet of 10 Graduates gathered on the shores of beautiful Lake Bassenwthaite. Posted on 4 Aug 2019
Graduates at Chipstead
"I saw my burgee slowly rotate a complete 360 degrees" On the 12th of May 2019, we had our Chipstead Sailing Club annual Graduate Open Meeting. It was a lovely day, the sun was shining and the wind was coming straight down the lake from the East. Race Officer Richard Ball set up a figure of eight course. Posted on 15 May 2019