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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

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