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Zhik WASZP Scottish & Northern Circuit at Ullswater Yacht Club

by Andy Hutchinson 27 Apr 2019 20:43 BST 20-21 April 2019
The 2019 WASZP Scottish & Northern Circuit kicks off at Ullswater © Emma Hepplethwaite

Big foils deliver big smiles in champagne conditions!

Easter weekend saw the first event of the 2019 WASZP Scottish & Northern Circuit, kindly sponsored by Zhik. Anticipation for the new season was high as sailors arrived at Ullswater which for most was the first chance to test the new big foils in racing action.

Saturday was a relatively subdued affair with generally light winds, but the lowriding conditions still provided the sailors with good racing. First blood in race 1 went to young gun Jamie Calder who was looking polished and well-practised to edge the win from current National Champion Graham Priestley. Andy Marshall showed his class in his first competitive outing in the Waszp to take third place ahead of Duncan Hepplethwaite and Phil Ewart.

In races 2 and 3 Graham put a marker down with two bullets to lead overnight and remind young Calder he'd have to fight hard for it if he wanted to take the win from Priestley on his home waters. Andy Marshall and Dunc battled away for third spot and took one a piece leaving everything to play for on the podium positions on Sunday.

Saturday night saw much fun in at the club and lots of happy sailors enjoying the hottest Easter Saturday on record and great hospitality from Ullswater Yacht Club.

Sunday dawned with a clear blue sky and building breeze. As boats were rigged it became clear the fleet was in for a special day. These were ideal conditions to test the new foil and in winds of around 10mph all the sailors were up and foiling with big smiles all round. This was the day that most of us realised the new foil is a real game changer, with the range of foiling conditions significantly increased. Everyone reported that foiling gybes are much easier and Jamie showed us that foiling tacks are within reach.

For day 2 the fleet was moved to the northern course with the lakeland fells creating a stunning amputheatre for racing in a steadily building breeze, this really was champagne conditions for Waszping! Andy Hutch put the disappointment of ripping his trampoline and missing most of Saturday's racing out of his mind, and supercharged by the remnants of the toffee vodka from the night before came out of the blocks charged up to take the first win of the day with Dunc in second and Jamie third. Unfortunately for Graeme, a trip back to base to make a running repair meant a discard and handed Jamie the advantage in the battle for overall honours.

Race 5, and with the wind up to 12mph it was full on foiling for most of the race. There was much place changing early on as the gusts came through the course, but at the finish Andy Hutch took a narrow win from the Field Marshall and Jamie.

As the other classes returned to the club for lunch, most of the Waszp sailors were having so much fun that they stayed out to enjoy the sparkling conditions, practise the foiling gybes and enjoy the thrill of foiling in the sunshine in such a spectacular setting. Phil selflessly headed in to get the barbie fired up so we were all greeted with burgers and steak on our return to shore top job fella!

Race 6 and it was winner takes all between Jamie and Graeme. Jamie powered up the first beat into a clear lead, and despite Andy's best efforts to close the gap as the breeze came through from behind downwind, Jamie took a comfortable bullet ahead of Andy and Graeme, and with it the event win.

We were lucky to share our racing with the Moths and showcase how accessible and exciting foiling can be. A big congratulations to Jamie Calder for the victory, but really everyone that made the trip to Ullswater was a winner! The bar has been set high, and let's hope the rest of the season is as good as this. A big thanks to Ullswater for hosting us as part of their Daffodil Regatta and to Zhik for their sponsorship.

Next up on the Scottish tour is Largs on 18th/19th May followed by the Nationals at Rutland from 28th to 31st May. Excitement is already building ahead of the Waszp Games at Garda in July with lots of the UK fleet signed up. With the new foil, a friendly camaraderie and a warm welcome to the fleet whatever your level, there really has never been a better time to give foiling a go!

Overall Results:

PosHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stJamie CalderTummel / RFYC1223319
2ndGraeme PriestlyUllswater YC211DNC4311
3rdAndy HutchinsonLoch Earn SCDNC5411213
4thDuncan HepplethwaiteLoch Lomond SC44325DNC18
5th Andy MarshallDalgety Bay SC33DNC42DNC19
6thPhil EwartDWSCDNC655DNCDNC30

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