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Flying Fifteen Northern Championship at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club

by Bass press 19 Jul 15:37 BST 17-18 July 2021
Flying Fifteen Northern Championship at Bassenthwaite © William Carruthers

A bumper fleet of 23 Flying Fifteens, the biggest turn out for some time, met on the shores of Costa Del Bassenthwaite for the 2021 Northern Championship. Those who've enjoyed the Bassenthwaite sea breeze before were confident a westerly gradient breeze would result in conditions better than the mid-week forecast of 4mph.

The foreshore was a hive of activity, busy with friends catching up and sharing lockdown tales, whilst others were resuscitating old borrowed FF15s!

Race one started with a tight start line and an eager fleet. A long beat to the clubhouse shore kept the spectators interested. At times the oscillating westerly breeze built to a sunny force three. The first beat seemed to set the tone for the four leaders, none of which changed position, despite various challenges, so the win went to Andy McKee & Rich Jones from Dovestone. Steve Goacher & Tim Harper from RWYC were a close second, and Nigel and Gavin Tullett (also from RWYC) in third. Best Bass boat was sailed by Graham Kirkpatrick & Alan Smith who finished fourth.?

Race two was a little chaotic, with two general recalls and a blag flag start. Eventually getting away cleanly, Andy McKee & Rich Jones led the fleet with Steve Goacher & Tim Harper only a boat length behind. In the middle of the pack it was bedlam. Busy leeward mark roundings offered a snakes and ladders situation. Those with patience applied the brakes and gained many a place by rounding inside the pack.

It was all getting a bit hot and a break was needed. Steve Goacher & Tim Harper finished first, pipping Andy McKee & Rich Jones on the finish line. This time it was Neil Currie & Rory Yardley that led the Bass fleet, finishing third.

The fleet enjoyed a water stop, quick swim, and sun cream top-up, before heading out for race 3. The sea breeze was now pushing the gradient breeze along, with some planning reaches in the gusts and toe straps required upwind.

Nigel & Gavin Tullett from RWYC found their way to the front and held onto various challengers, including a very close one on the finish line with Mike Preston & Chris Robinson from BFYC. Paul Allen & Andrea Preston finished third and first Bass boat.

So, with no discards, overnight lead was held by Steve & Tim, with Andy & Rich second. Andy Smith & Andy Tunicliffe were best Bass boat in fourth, sailing consistently in the new Ginger Boats FF15.

Bassenthwaite's unique setting offered fine camping for visitors and members, with the clear skies offering sights of the International Space Station and a meteor shower for those awake or still capable of seeing that far.

More of the same for day two: clear skies, wall-to-wall sunshine and a westerly force 2-3. An extra-long start line offered plenty of space for those still waking up.

In race four Steve Goacher & Tim Harper broke through to the lead and showed a clean pair of heals to Neil Currie & Rory Yardley, strengthening his lead in the series. With main competitor Andy McKee finishing fourth, Steve needed to finish in the top three to be assured of the championship. Andy Smith & Andy Tunicliffe started their challenge on the overall top three counting a consecutive third.

Competition was close throughout the fleet, with tight mark roundings keeping everyone sweltering under the collar.

The final race started in the best breeze of the weekend. A tightly-packed committee boat end saw Andy McKee & Rich Jones lead from the middle of the pack. They held on to first, doing everything they could for the overall win, but it wasn't enough for the overall championship with Steve Goacher & Tim Harper a close second and Andy Smith & Andy Tunicliffe third.

Graham Kirkpatrick and Alan Smith finished first Silver fleet in twelfth overall. Overall Steve Goacher & Tim Harper finished first on six points. Andy McKee & Rich Jones from Dovestone were second on eight points and Nigel & Gavin Tullett from RWYC third counting thirteen points.

Steve Goacher thanked Bassenthwaite for hosting a safe, fun and competitive event.

Overall Results:

1st 4021Steve GoacherTim HarperRWYC215126
2nd 4005Andy McKeeRich JonesDovestone SC126418
3rd 4031Nigel TullettGavin TullettRoyal Windermere3518413
4th 4087Andy SmithAndy TunnicliffeBassenthwaite8473317
5th 3973Simon LongstaffDave LawsonBassenthwaite5OCS45721
6th 3520Neil CurrieRory YardleyBassenthwaite143821023
7th 3641Mike PrestonChris RobinsonB&FYC121027524
8th 3914Adrian TattersallGlyn MorganPYC961216633
9th 3770Paul AllanAndrea PrestonBassenthwaite151339.5934.5
10th 3440Mark SomervilleToggle CowanBassenthwaite689131235
11th 3622Eleanor CraigRobert MountainBlackpool & Fleetwood Yacht Club10711111139
12thSilver3281Graham KirkpatrickAlan SmithBassenthwaite49DNF121641
13thSilver3390Dave ExleyCarolineExleyBassenthwaite11151061441
14th 3996Michael MooreSally RobertsBassenthwaite712139.5DNF41.5
15thSilver3265Andy thomasStephen KirkpatrickBassenthwaite131117141351
16th 3720Robert StorrarPeter KassellBassenthwaite18191415855
17thSilver3448Ian PrestonJonathan BullenBassenthwaite161416171561
18thSilver3815Ian CampbellLezliann PearsonBassenthwaite171615DNCDNC72
19th 3623Angus CorryMike HunterBassenthwaite2018DNC181773
20th 3428Graham LamondRachel LamondRipon SC19171819DNC73
21stClassic2504John BarronSteve SteeleBassenthwaite232220221882
22nd 3732Ian HockeyValerie HockeyBFYC21211921DNC82
23rd 3555Alex LeonardBen MurrelBassenthwaite2220DNF20DNF86

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