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Ullswater Yacht Club Daffodil Regatta

by Sue Giles 16 Apr 2018 14:29 BST 14-15 April 2018
Great British Herdy gets ready to watch the racing at the Ullswater Yacht Club Daffodil Regatta © Pauline Thompson

Ullswater Yacht Club's first open event in its 60th Anniversary Year, the Daffodil Regatta on the weekend of 14 & 15 April, attracted an entry of 57 boats from all over the country. The competitors in a wide range of boats from the high tech foiling singlehander, the Waszp, to the traditional racing keelboat, the Flying Fifteen, enjoyed a total of seven races over the weekend in typical varying Ullswater conditions.

The club was delighted to welcome the RS200 fleet, which, at 15 boats, was the biggest, and the event was part of the class's Northern Tour. There were 12 Musto Skiffs, competing for points in the Scottish Skiff series. And for the first time the Waszp had class racing on Ullswater, with five boats competing.

They were joined by a special guest, the herdy company's giant Great British Herdy, a larger than life model Herdwick sheep, who watched from the shore and brought along prizes for the winners.

The boats were split into two fleets, asymmetrics and conventional, racing on separate sections of the lake. On Saturday, the asymmetrics raced round the corner from the club on the stretch from Sharrow Bay to Howtown. The SW wind provided an ideal windward leeward leg up and down the lake with the stunning backdrop of the fells leading to Helvellyn. The sun shone and although winds were light and fickle, race officers managed to get in the three planned races.

The top places in the RS200s were spread throughout the fleet and three different boats were first over the line in the three races, all from Beaver SC – James Penty and Eddie Grayson; Martin Penty and Sam Waller; Oliver Groves and Esther Parkhurst.

In the Musto Skiffs, Thomas Gillard from Sheffield Viking SC was beginning to make his mark on the event. He was the clear overnight leader with two firsts and a second. Graham Priestley from Ullswater YC was ahead overnight in the Waszp fleet with two seconds and a first. The handicap asymmetric fleet had 17 boats competing in a range of different classes. Colin Murray of UYC in a Norfolk Punt took two firsts on handicap and Robert Richardson of Royal Windermere YC in an RS100 won one.

The conventional fleet, made up of Flying Fifteens and Lasers all from UYC, raced at the Pooley Bridge end of the lake on a traditional triangular course. Race winners on handicap were Jonathan Nicoll in a Laser; Dave and Sue Giles in a Flying Fifteen and Mark and Kirsty Burton in a Flying Fifteen.

Overnight there was a change the weather – rain for a while, and more wind, and a change in wind direction to South Easterly. Both fleets raced at the Northern end of the lake, this time the windward leg had to be laid across the width of lake. Stronger winds and short legs led to a quick turnaround and four more races were held for every fleet, making it seven races with five to count.

In the RS200 fleet, Oliver Groves and Esther Parkhurst recovered from poor scoring in the first two races on Saturday to win three on Sunday and take first place. The other first on Sunday was taken by Martin Penty and Sam Waller, enough for them to clinch second place overall.

Musto Skiff sailor Thomas Gillard held on to his overnight lead by coming second twice on Sunday, to win him the event. Two firsts on Sunday gave Jono Shelley of UYC second place overall. In the Waszp fleet, Daniel Hesp of Carsington SC and Graham Priestley of UYC battled it out on Sunday, both winning two races each. They ended up on the same points with Daniel taking first place on countback. Robert Richardson in his RS100 won two races on handicap on Sunday to take the asymmetric prize. In the conventional fleet, Jonathan Nicoll in a Laser won two of the four races on Sunday to win overall.

At the prizegiving, Diane and Spencer Hannah, co-founders of the herdy company, handed out the prizes of herdy mugs to all the winners.

UYC is celebrating its 60th Anniversary Year with a new look to its racing programme. The Daffodil Regatta was the first of four new special open weekends aimed at specific classes. Highlight of the year is the award-winning Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy to be held on July 7 & 8. There are three more new weekend events - Singlehander Weekend, open to all conventional singlehanders, including Laser Lakeland Travellers, May 26 & 27; Cruiser & Keelboat Weekend, open to all cruisers and racing keelboats, including Tempest and Flying Fifteen Travellers, August 25 & 26; Asymmetric Weekend, open to all asymmetric classes, October 20 & 21.

More details can be found on the club website at

Daffodil Regatta Winners:

RS 200
1. Oliver Groves & Esther Parkhurst, Beaver SC, 7
2. Martin Penty & Sam Waller, Beaver SC, 9
3. Martin & Sian Joesbury, Budworth SC, 18

Musto Skiff
1. Thomas Gillard, Sheffield Viking SC, 8
2. Jono Shelley, UYC, 10
3. Stuart Keegan, Derwent Reservoir SC, 11

1. Daniel Hesp, Carsington SC, 7
2. Graham Priestley, UYC, 7
3. Duncan Hepplewhite, Loch Lomond SC, 13

Asymmetric Handicap
1. Robert Richardson, RS100, RWYC, 9
2. Colin Murrary, Norfolk Punt, UYC, 11
3. Nathan Batchelor & Nick Kincaid, VX One, Tynemouth SC, 11

Conventional Handicap
1. Jonathan Nicoll, Laser, UYC, 7
2. Dave & Sue Giles, Flying Fifteen, UYC, 9
3. Mark & Kirsty Burton, Flying Fifteen, UYC, 15

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