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Bass Week Runners and Riders, and prizes including The Lakes Distillery vodka!

by Paul Allen 4 Jul 05:59 BST 3-11 August 2019
Mirror at the One Bassethwaite Sailing Week © Peter Mackin

It's one month to the One Bassethwaite Sailing Week 2019! Over 150 boats have pre entered and many more are expected. We are all set for another great week of racing and socialising.

Before we get into the who's who each fleet, a few words from our brilliant sponsors, The Lakes Distillery, whose Vodka (prizes at the weekend series) has recently been awarded the best in the world!

'Sharing the shore with Bassenthwaite Sailing Club, The Lakes Distillery is delighted to support The One Bass Week for the fourth consecutive year. Our majestic UNESCO World Heritage Site has long been a crucible for creativity and is the perfect place to visit for a week of racing and socialising. Inspired by our surroundings, we'd like to invite you to join us while you are here and see behind the scenes at our state-of-the-art distillery and enjoy tastings of our award-winning range of fine whiskies, gins and 'The World's Best' vodka. Your 'Welcome Pack' includes some exclusive offers and discounts which we hope you will enjoy. Good luck and best wishes to everyone racing.' Paul Currie, co-founder of The Lakes Distillery.

Across the 12 fleets, some new and old faces are set to go head to head on the water. So here goes, the 2019 runners and riders..

The Fast Handicap is often dominated by RS400s, with the usual suspects of Mark Somerville and Joe Roberts (Y&Y sailors of the month for carrying the kite to windward) and last years Ovington Trophy winners Paul and Jude Allen in a borrowed boat will be joined by some superstars, including multi class gurus Steve and Sarah Cockerill (team Rooster), King of the pond Chris Pickles and Dave and Caroline Exley, all using the week to sharpen boat speed and clear air hunting ahead of the RS400 National Championship. When zig jagging offwind isn't beneficial, the Merlin Rocket of Steve Hunt and Ruth Critchley often take advantage of the rum line to take the win. This year the ICON entries are gathering momentum with 4 already entered so they'll be in the mix too. It's going to be a hot fleet, starting first.

RS200s entries are approaching 20! Husband and wife team, Phil and Bass Commodore Naomi are usually the form boat, with Robin and Erin Dawson half a boat length behind. This year a few parent and child teams will be joining in too, including Chris Pickles, team Exley and a few others pot hunting when the breeze is light.

Mirrors, Toppers and Juniors. The parents and kids Mirror fleet is hot! 3 time FF15 world champion Graham Vials sailing with son Sabastian has added a new dimension to the recent Bass Week Mirror fleet, with the rest of the Mums and Dads having to step up their game. When not in the 200 and GP14, brothers Phil and Andy Smith, sailing with Oliver and Lily, are masters of the Bass shifts and mostly on the ladder whilst the rest of us are down the snake. Also in the mix will be 2018 Pursuit Champions Rob and Elizabeth Cooke. Alongside the Mirrors, the local team of Bass cadets racing Toppers and Teras have spent the spring training. This could be the year the Mirrors are second best.

Laser entries are north of 20 and more are expected at the popular weekend series. Last years champ, Eleanor Craig is joining us again, as is John Hainsworth and Peter Whipp who both won races. If the wind is from the SE, the 4 mile windward leg up to buoy 15 will suit those with fresh legs however if it's round the cans maturity may prevail. Heading up the classic fleet (magnolia decks and an XD ban) is last years champion Helen Yull, with matching 80's sail and all in one spray suit, winning the classic fashion show will be hotly contested.

The medium handicap is always a mixed bag, with various boats having their day when the breeze suits. Ed - pay on the gate - Thomas is guaranteed to be in the prizes, although he has not entered yet but looking at his Facebook posts he's started packing. When Ed's Phantom is struggling on the long runs the Swarkestone Wayfarers will be taking advantage with Mike Weighill and Nigel and Belinda O'Donnell hoping to repeat the 2018 collection of glass ware. Also worth mentioning is Ben Pickering, this year sailing an OK in the medium handicap. Ben won a 90 boat pursuit race in a Blaze a few years back and was 'up there' in the family yellow RS400 the year before last. Ben could shake things up a little if he stays out the bar.

The Bass Week Solo fleet has been gathering momentum over the last few years. Entries are approaching 20 this year with more expected to join in at the weekends. Youth training guru John Reekie is his red machine has, over the last year, led the Bass charge, followed closely by Mike Cowan and Stan Barton. The visitors will hopefully push the local lads in what is set to be one of the most competitive fleets.

This year the Graduates are again joining us for their Northern Championship. Last year Ben and Gabe Hill won on count back from Chris and Chloe Parker however neither of those are yet to enter so the ever consistent Andy and Sue Flitcroft are our favourites.

The usual faces and some new recruits are joining the traditional classes. In the Enterprise fleet Mark Ninnim and Emma Smith usually battle it out with Royston Taggart and whichever super crew he coerces. If it's ex national champion crew Pencil DJ joining Roy there could be an upset. In the FF15 fleet the usual Bass and Derwent entries are in, as is a Bass Week first for Rob Mountain from Blackpool. As expected the GP14s will be out in force, with team Lawson usually the form boat with Mike Fairlamb and Eric Smith never far behind. When the breeze suits the GP14s are the boat to have in the hotly contested pursuits. No doubt various superstars will jump into a GP on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.

It's not too late to join the fun. Each weekend is a separate series with many expected to still enter. Prizes sponsored by the Lakes Distillery include the best vodka in the world 2019! Discounted entry ends on Sunday 28th July. Visit www.bassweek.org.uk for entry details, news about the amazing social programme and up to date entry lists.

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