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120 boats for the first weekend at The One Bassenthwaite Lake Sailing Week

by Bass Press 3 Aug 10:27 BST 31 July - 8 August 2021
First weekend action from The One Bassenthwaite Lake Sailing Week © Peter Mackin

After months of preparation and 'is it, isn't it on' chat, Bass Week 2021, sponsored by The Lakes Distillery and Craft Insure, commenced with sunshine, showers and a gentle northerly breeze.

Members welcomed this year's visitors who were eager to set up camp from the moment the gate opened. Usually the bar would be buzzing with new and old friends meeting and catching up. A little different this year, with outdoor seating and a marquee helping to keep the famous Bass après-sail whilst keeping everyone safe. With pre-entry maxed out at 120 boats, the 12 fleets included new competitors and those Bass Week stalwarts who have been returning for decades. On Saturday the odd rain shower helped refresh foggy heads earned on Friday evening whilst on Sunday the sun made an appearance but the northerly breeze couldn't decide how northerly it wanted to be, making for a snakes and ladders race course and lots of tactical opportunities. Race officer Hugh Godfrey set fine courses with varied legs suiting the slowest Mirror/Topper/Tera fleets and the fast handicap fleet which included an RS800.

The fast handicap was dominated by RS400s, with Chis Pickles and Matt Sharman from Bass finishing first counting 3 points and discarding a first! Mark Somerville and Joe Roberts also from bass finished second with Russell Lutwyche and Huw Hopkins from Chase SC in third, sailing an ICON. This year's FF15 fleet tops the leader board on the number of entries for a class start. Local knowledge must have been important because it was a Bass top three with the first three boats all tied on 6 points! Benefiting from two bullets on Saturday, Simon Longstaff and Mr Commodore John Denwood finished first, Neil Currie and Nick Smith second ahead of Graham Kirkpatrick and John Somerville in third.

Phil and Naomi Smith counted two bullets and a third to win the competitive RS200 fleet. In a similar fashion Simon Weatherspoon from Derwent made easy work of the Laser fleet with two firsts and a second. Robin Dawson from Bass smashed the Solo fleet with three firsts, not bad for his first year in the class. The local team of Andy Smith and Phil Hodgkins finished first in the GP14 fleet, counting three firsts and discarding a second. Dominated by Graduates, the competitive slow handicap fleet went down to the last shift in the last race, with the Grandad and grandson team of Tim Hand and Riley Garfoot winning on countback from Chris and Chloe Parker. In 2019 Ellie Craig from Starcross sailed her Laser into first place in all the races. This year Ellie dominated the medium handicap with four first places, sailing an RS Aero 7. The popular Wayfarer team of Nigel and Belinda O'Donnell from Swarkestone finished a clear second counting three second places. The father and son team of Ed and Oliver Thomas won the Enterprise fleet, a great result for Oliver's first regatta with an emotional Ed collecting the trophy.

This year's Mirror/Topper/Tera fleet is where the action really is, with multiple world and national champions competing against the best of the kids. In the Mirrors Graham and Sebastian Vials from Derwent dominated with four first places. Chris and Adriana Balding from Island Barn Reservoir finished a close second on six points. Matthew Somerville sailed brilliantly to finish first under 18 in an RS Tera Pro, often mixing it up with the adults in the faster Mirrors.

The first prize-giving on the regatta took place on Sunday evening. Commodore Jon Denwood was joined by Rod Daniel from Craft Insure, this weekend's generous sponsor. Sunday evening is quiz night followed by Monday's Cadet fun event (bouncy castle and sailing race!) followed by the Luffing Cup sponsored by Embleton Spa.

Full results at www.bassweek.org.uk/21jc

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