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South-Westerlies beckon for the Ullswater Ultimate

by Andy Rice 15 Aug 10:30 BST 17-18 August 2019
Boats racing on Ullswater at the Birkett in July © Tim Olin / www.olinphoto.co.uk

A wide range of boats and sailing abilities are set to compete at the brand new Ullswater Ultimate regatta this weekend, 17 & 18 August. Hosted by Ullswater Yacht Club, who hold the prestigious Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy, this is the latest event of the Great British Sailing Challenge (GBSC).

It is still possible to enter on the day. The forecast looks very good, with moderate south-westerly breezes set to blow along the length of this beautiful stretch of water in the Lake District.

There's a wide range of boats already entered, from the Challenger trimarans, to Musto Skiffs, Lasers, Solos and a few RS models including the RS100, 200, 400 & 800.

Chris Pickles, sailing with Matt Sharman, will be looking to go one better than the Bala Long Distance a couple of months ago when Pickles was runner-up in his RS400. However with the forecast, Jono Shelley's Musto Skiff from Largs will be one to watch - the Largs sailor always finishing in the top few of the class national championships. Stuart Keegan and Sophie Johnston from Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club are also likely to get the best out of their RS800 in what looks set to be a weekend of planing around the course for the trapeze boats.

The two-day event is open to all classes of monohull dinghy, dayboat or cruiser under 25ft 6ins and there will be six races over the weekend, three on Saturday and three on Sunday, with results calculated on a handicap basis using Great Lakes numbers. Using SailRacer GPS trackers there will also be other scoring categories as well as the main results. Photographer Tim Olin will be there to capture all the action. The first race on Saturday is not before noon, with a briefing at 11am, and not before 10.30am on Sunday.

Entries are online at www.sailingchallenge.org with a closing date of midnight on August 14. Late entries will be taken on the morning of Saturday, August 17, and subject to a £10 late entry fee.

As with all UYC events, there will be the usual UYC hospitality with excellent food, camping/campervans on site, and great racing in lovely surroundings.

For more details contact David Clarke on uycsailingsec@gmail.com or visit the club website www.ullswateryachtclub.org

GBSC Calendar 2018/19

Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club
17 & 18 November 2018

Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club
8 & 9 December 2018

Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club
27 December 2018

John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
2 & 3 February 2019

Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club
16 February 2019

King George Gallop, King George Sailing Club
16 & 17 March 2019

Weston Grand Slam
20 & 21 April 2019

Derwent Dambuster, Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club
11 & 12 May 2019

Wilsonian River Challenge, Wilsonian Sailing Club
1 & 2 June 2019

Bala Long Distance, Bala Sailing Club
22 & 23 June 2019

Mountbatten Centre, Plymouth
8 to 10 August 2019

Ullswater Ultimate, Ullswater Yacht Club
17 & 18 August 2019

Grand Finals, Rutland Sailing Club
28 & 29 September 2019

How do I get to the Grand Finals?

The Grand Finals of the GBSC are designed to celebrate the best of everything in small-boat racing in Great Britain. So there are many ways to qualify....

Finish in the top 10 of the travellers' series (based on your best three results)

Top qualifiers in a number of boat categories:

  • Fast Asymmetric
  • Fast Non-Asymmetric
  • Slow Asymmetric
  • Slow Non-Asymmetric
  • Multihull
  • Sportsboat
  • Best Improver
  • Most attended
  • Any boat valued at less than £1000
Top qualifiers in a number of age and other categories, for example:
  • Youth (Under 19)
  • Master (Over 60)
  • Female
  • Two Generations (two people sailing together, minimum age gap of 18 years - could be parent/child but not necessarily)
There will also be a number of 'wild card' invites available based on various criteria.

Hang on, but what even IS the Great British Sailing Challenge?

It's a series of handicap racing events that take place throughout the year, and it's open to pretty much any sail-powered craft. The Challenge involve events throughout the whole year, running large regattas at a variety of inland and open water venues. Competing sailors will earn ranking points from each event they compete in, with the top 100 sailors invited to a winner-takes-all-final at Rutland Water in September, a celebration to bring together the best British sailors of the year.

Who came up with the idea?

The idea comes from the organisers of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series which has been one of the big success stories of the past decade. Organised by Andy Rice of SailJuice.com (sailing journalist and marketer) and Simon Lovesey of SailRacer (event organiser and GPS tracking expert) has completed its 10th season.

www.sailingchallenge.org

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