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Suntouched 2018

Time to get your entry in for the Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy

by Sue Giles 18 Jun 15:44 BST 7-8 July 2018
The start of the Birkett in 1991 © Sue Giles

Ullswater Yacht Club is going back in time in the run-up to its biggest event of the year, the Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy.

The iconic event is being held on the weekend of July 7 and 8, entries are limited to 230 and the closing date is just a few days away on Thursday, June 21.

The club is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year and members have been enjoying looking back at its history, collecting memories and old photographs, including pictures from the Birkett which was first raced in 1963, five years after the founding of the club.

The long distance event was established in honour of Lord Norman Birkett who died two days after making a successful speech in the House of Lords which prevented Ullswater from becoming a reservoir. Every year since then, the club has held the prestigious two-day round-the-island race in memory of the 'Saviour of Ullswater'.

The club is delighted that Victoria Cliff Hodges, Lord Norman Birkett's granddaughter, will be attending the event and presenting the sought-after Silver Salver to the winner at the prizegiving on the Sunday. Victoria, who lives in Oxfordshire, has also been adding to the club's collection of old photographs with pictures taken in the 40s and 50s of Norman Birkett and his family holidaying and sailing on Ullswater.

"We are proud to welcome Victoria to the Birkett and hope she enjoys experiencing this unique event in honour of her grandfather," said Commodore Rick Boyce.

One of the most spectacular sailing events in the North, the Birkett has won Cumbria Tourism's Event of the Year Award, and was rated number eight in the top 50 'must do' sailing regattas by Yachts & Yachting magazine. On Saturday, they race down the lake, a distance of about seven miles, past Kailpot Crag and the plaque to the memory of Lord Birkett, round an island at the southern end, and back. Then they do it all again on Sunday – with both races to count.

To enter visit enter.sailracer.org/events/enter-v2rya.asp?eventid=211652

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