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Entries filling up fast for the Birkett 2019

by Sue Giles 14 Jun 14:46 BST 6-7 July 2019
An Albacore with its Birkett hull sticker pictured during Birkett 2018 © Tim Olin / www.olinphoto.co.uk

Top boatbuilders Ovington Boats are supporting the iconic Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy, which this year is being held on July 6 and 7, by providing hull stickers for all boats taking part in the two-day event organised by Ullswater Yacht Club.

The event is limited to 230 boats and entries are filling up fast, now more than 200, with the closing date Sunday, June 23 at 9pm.

The celebration event was first raced in 1963 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 long distance race in which boats sail the full length of the lake round an island, and back, in memory of the 'Saviour of Ullswater'.

All boats race from one mass start with the line stretching across the full width of the lake. On Saturday they race down the lake, about seven miles, round an island at the southern end, and back. Then they do it all again on Sunday - both races to count. With the course covering the whole of the lake, the safety of all competitors is a top priority for the Birkett organisers.

"Identifying all the boats taking part in the event is an important part of our safety procedure and we are delighted that Ovington Boats are again helping us by providing hull stickers for all boats," said Birkett safety co-ordinator Edmund Clarke.

He said he was also grateful for the involvement of Northern Exposure Rescue in helping to provide safety cover for the event.

The Birkett is also supported by the club's next door neighbour, the Sharrow Bay Hotel whose visitors get a spectacular view of the racing down the lake. The winner will not only take home the sought-after Birkett silver salver but also get to spend a night at the luxury hotel, winning a voucher for bed and breakfast for two.

A traditional feature every year is the three-hour Saturday Birkett Cruise run by another of the event's supporters, Ullswater Steamers. The cruise will leave Pooley Bridge pier at 12.30pm and follow the racing down to Kailpot Crag where the Lord Birkett memorial plaque is placed and will have an on-board commentary from members of UYC. Families and friends can follow the racing at close hand on the water and experience some of the excitement. Please book direct with Ullswater Steamers via their website www.ullswater-steamers.co.uk Entries for the 57th Birkett are online only through the SailRacer website. Competitors are urged to enter quickly as the event, with a limit of 230 boats, is so popular it is always oversubscribed. The closing date is Sunday, June 23 at 9pm.

For more information about the Birkett visit the UYC website www.ullswateryachtclub.org or email

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