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Ullswater Yacht Club Daffodil Regatta

by Sue Giles 23 Apr 10:24 BST 20-21 April 2019
RS Aero start during the Ullswater Daffodil Regatta © Tim Olin /

Ullswater Yacht Club's annual Daffodil Regatta over Easter weekend on 20 & 21 April was blooming success, attracting an entry of more than 70 boats from all over the country. The competitors in a wide range of boats from high tech foiling singlehanders, the Waszp and International Moth, to the traditional keelboat, the Flying Fifteen, enjoyed a total of six races over two days of glorious warm, sunny weather.

The club was delighted that several fleets were using the event as part of their 2019 traveller series - RS200s, Musto Skiffs, VXOnes, Aeros and Waszps. Every year the early-season event becomes more and more popular and there were many 'old faces' among the visiting racers as well as lots of welcome new ones.

The boats were split into two fleets, asymmetrics and conventional plus RS200s, racing on separate sections of the lake. On Saturday, the asymmetrics raced at the Pooley Bridge end of the lake in front of the clubhouse, the SSW wind providing an ideal windward leeward leg up and down the lake. The high performance and foiling boats may have hoped for more wind but race officer Rick Boyce and his team managed to get in three races after a delayed start waiting for the breeze to settle down.

The asymmetrics had three separate starts with 12 Musto Skiff, 12 VXOnes and 18 boats in the asymmetric handicap fleet including the single-handed foilers.

In the Musto Skiffs, Alistair Conn of Derwent Reservoir SC began to make his mark on the event. He was the overnight leader with two firsts and a fourth. Showing the other VXOnes the way round were Nathan Batchelor and Jamie Neilson who won all three Saturday races. The handicap fleet was a fascinating high-tech display with 6 Waszps (PY 600) and 5 Moths (PY 550-650) on the start line alongside other asymmetric boats. Overnight leaders were Matty and James Lyons of UYC in their International 14.

The other fleets started round the corner from the club on Saturday on the stretch from Sharrow Bay to Howtown with the stunning backdrop of the fells leading to Helvellyn. Race officer Craig Robinson and his team also managed to run three races. The 8 Aeros all opted to use their 7-rig and raced on an Olympic course. After three races, Sam Waller of Beaver SC was clearly in the lead with three firsts. It was also looking good in the RS200s, on a windward/leeward course, for Andrew Brown and Alex Sutcliffe, of Tynemouth/ Budworth SC taking two firsts and a second.

First places on handicap in the 11-strong conventional fleet on an Olympic course went to Robin Barratt and his team in an Etap 21, he was the overnight leader, and Ian Modral, crewed by Robin Higgins in a Tempest.

It was more of the same on Sunday hot, blue skies, bright sun, but with a little more wind, and all fleets sailed three races. This time, the windward leeward fleets raced round the corner from the club and the overnight leaders consolidated their positions, with five races to count out of six. Alistair Conn won three more races to take the Skiffs overall; Nathan Batchelor's first and second on Sunday won him the VXOne prize; and the Lyons brothers in a 14 won the handicap with two more firsts.

On the other course, it was also more of the same. In the Aeros, Sam Waller won two more races, taking the overall position and Andrew Brown's first and second was enough for him to clinch first place in the RS200s. In the conventional handicap fleet, Dave and Sue Giles won all three races in a Flying Fifteen, but they did not complete any races on Saturday, and the overall winners were Modral/Higgins in a Tempest. The junior prize went to 10-year-old Spirit Alderson who completed every race over the weekend in his Topper.

Huge thanks go to all the UYC volunteers who gave up their Easter weekend to make the event such a success. The club is now looking forward to hosting the first round of the RYA British Keelboat League series on May 5 & 6 and entries are open on SailRacer for the club's biggest event of the year, the Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy on July 6 & 7.

Daffodil Regatta Prizewinners:

Musto Skiff
1. Alastair Conn, Derwent Reservoir SC, 5pts
2. Jamie Hilton, ASYC, 17pts
3. Jono Shelley, UYC, 18pts

1, Nathan Batchelor & Jamie Neilson, 6pts
2. John & Samantha Robson, UYC, 17pts
3. David Clarke & Tom Neilson, UYC, 21pts

1. Jamie Calder, Loch Tummel/Dalgety Bay SC, 42pts, 8th Asymmetric
2. Graham Priestley, UYC, 44pts, 9th Asymmetric

Asymmetric Handicap
1. Matty & James Lyons, International 14, UYC, 5.5pts
2. Jon & Nicola Abbatt, RS400, UYC, 14pts
3. Paul Hignett, Int Foiling Moth, Loch Lomond SC, 23.5pts

RS Aero
1. Sam Waller, Beaver SC, 5pts
2. Ian McGonigal, East Lothian SC, 14pts
3. Keith Escritt, Yorkshire Dales SC, 15pts

1. Andrew Brown & Alex Sutcliffe, Tynemouth/Budworth SC, 7pts
2. Oliver Groves & Esther Parkhurst, Beaver SC, 13pts
3. Martin & Sian Joesbury, Budworth SC, 15pts

Conventional Handicap
1. Ian Modral & Robin Higgins, Tempest, UYC, 11pts
2. Robin Barratt, Keith McDermott & Mike Egan, Etap 21, UYC, 13pts
3. Christian Barnes & John Thornley, Flying Fifteen, UYC, 13pts

Juniors, Spirit Alderson, Topper, UYC, 41pts

Full results are on the UYC website.

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