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Craftinsure 2023 LEADERBOARD

Craftinsure Bass Week - Overall

by Bass Press 8 Aug 2022 16:33 BST 30 July - 7 August 2022

And just like that, Craftinsure Bass Week 2022 is done and dusted. Over 160 race starts, thousands of miles sailed, many a wind shift caught and probably a few missed!

There are far too many individual race reports to pen, with strong south-westerly winds dominating the mid-week series, the bar was full of tales of near misses, blasting off wind reaches and for the unfortunate few (me included) tales of a rescue or two by the brilliant Red Seal Rescue. This year's Bass Week welcomed the return of restriction free use of the bar and clubhouse, and it was encouraging to see new and old friends meeting in person after a year or two of pixelated 'fun'. The social team organised a schedule of varied activities including quiz's, children's parties, discos and live singers.

On the water there was some stand out performances across the nine fleets. In the fast handicap, Mark Somerville and Joe Roberts once again won the Dave Ovington Memorial Trophy. The trophy counts the best Fast Handicap results across the 9 days racing. In the end it went down to the last race against Rob Cook sailing a Phantom, with Mark and Joe's final race win enough to claim the overall trophy. Mark and Joe blasted their way around the windy mid-week racing, often chased by Charlie and Dave Exley also sailing an RS400. Although Rob Cook missed out on the 'Ovi Trophy', he sailed fast all week, winning the Martini Challenge and the John Peel Tankard.

Bass has seen a FF15 resurgence over the last few years, with a few new additions to the club fleet including shiny new Ginger Boats FF15s. The Blackpool & Fleetwood YC FF15 gang once again joined us, adding enthusiasm (and in some cases youth) to the Bass Week fleet. Hot favourites Simon Longstaff and Commodore Jon Denwood led the early running, with Robert Mountain & Victoria Manifold from BFYC also claiming a few race wins including the Jennings Challenge, winning on countback from Simon and John. Brothers Neil and Mark Platt teamed up to win the Martini Challenge Trophy and joining in for the final weekend, Dave and Jackie Gebhard won the Cutty Sark Challenge, counting three 1st places. Across the nine days it was Mike Moore and Sally Roberts who won the Miners Trophy for best FF15

In the Laser fleet, Simon Weatherspoon from Derwent dominated, fighting off challenges from Sam McKay, Bill Busby, Howard Green and young Spirit Alderson sailing a radial. When the breeze was up, the radials dominated the results, with Thomas Bates winning all three races in the Natwest Cup on Wednesday. The Cutty Sark Challenge was won by Alastair Coates from Bass/Budworth, counting three 1st places.

The medium handicap is one of the hardest fleets to win, with such a mix of classes who each perform differently in the varied conditions. Wayfarer legends Nigel and Belinda O'Donnell, from Swarkestone had some good ding-dongs with Louise Mckeand and Nigel Hall, also sailing a Wayfarer from Leigh and Lowton. Steve Hunt and Ruth Critchley won the Dubwath Cup sailing an Enterprise. Thrown into the mid-week mix was the 2000 sailed by class stalwarts Rob and Gemma Burridge, who made the most of the breezy mid-week, finishing ahead of the Wayfarers and the RS Aeros, winning the Natwest Cup, the Martini Challenge and the Cutty Sark Challenge. Not bad for their first Bass Week!

The RS200 fleet is always a mix up at Bass Week, with many boats loaned and different teams racing on and off across the week. Locals Phil and Oliver Oscar Davenport really improved on previous Bass Weeks, winning the John Peel Tankard and were always in contention at the front of the fleet. Robin and Erin Dawson made a trip down memory lane, winning Mondays Luffing Cup. Luke and Tristan Shaw made easy work of the Cutty Sark Challenge, winning all three races, closely followed by Caroline Exley and Marie Shaw. Alex and Olivia Leonard from Bass won the Natwest Cup counting 2 firsts, with Alistair and Evie Coates one point behind in 2nd. It was encouraging to see some new Bass teams join the RS200 fleet, with new crews being trained up on spinnaker trimming and capsize techniques!

This year's Solo fleet had 18 boats entered, with lots of regular faces including Bass hot shots Robin Dawson and the John Reekie in the red machine. The battle at the front was often between Robin and John, with Richard Critchley from Wish/Bass also mixing it up, winning the Luffing Cup. Tim Hand from SESCA made a welcome return to the fleet, winning the Natwest Cup on Wednesday. John won the Martini Challenge Trophy whilst Robin won the John Peel Tankard and the Cutty Sark Challenge counting three 1st places.

Val and Ken Bell from Bass kicked off their midweek challenge by winning Mondays Luffing Cup in the GP14 fleet. Bass regulars Dave and Lynn Lawson dominated the mid-week, winning the John Peel Tankard, Martini Challenge and Cutty Sark Challenge. Father and son team, John and Jack Telford, were also in the mix, finishing second to Dave and Lynn on several occasions.

The slow handicap was a story of Wanderers and Graduates. Chris and Chloe Parker won the Luffing Cup and the final weekends Cutty Sark Challenge. Sailing in an RS Aero 5, Joe Watkins won the windy Dubwath Cup. Sailing the Wanderer from Swarkestone (apparently with a built-in stereo??) David Moore and Bernard Taylor won the Martini Challenge and the Natwest Cup. Guy Wheeler and Elaine Ross, from Annandale Sailing club, finished just 9 seconds ahead of Chris and Chloe to win the John Peel Tankard.

And finally, in the combined Mirror/Topper/Tera fleet, there was several races within the race. At the front, superstar adults racing with up-and-coming superstar kids! Phil and Oliver Smith won the Luffing Cup, the Natwest Cup, the John Peel Tankard and Phil won the Cutty Sark Challenge sailing with daughter Lucy. Andy Smith won the Dubwath Cup with daughter Lily. Alex and Chris Balding won the Martini Challenge Trophy and were often in the mix throughout the week, with Chris helming and Adriana or Alex crewing. Whilst the Toppers never managed to win the overall fleet, there was some excellent racing within their mini fleet, with Morgan Busby from Leigh and Lowton and Fred Buckley from Yorkshire Dales often at the front. Similarly, the RS Teras couldn't beat the Mirrors on PY but had great racing all week. Bass member Matthew Somerville dominated, with Henry Bullen never too far behind and finishing first RS Tera in the Cutty Sark Challenge. It was encouraging to see this fleet buoyant with smiling faces and lots of young sailors having fun.

Bass Week's pursuits are highly sought after. Many variables have to combine for the winners to stay ahead of 90 or so charging boats! This year's Nairn Pursuit, sponsored by Carruthers & Kent was raced in extreme conditions. Only 26 boats finished in the strong and punchy south westerly winds. The Mirrors started first and looked strong for the full 90 minutes, led by Graham and Sebastian Vials, with Andy and Lily Smith in hot pursuit. As the race unfolded, many other boats capsized whilst the Mirrors put the pedal to the metal. With just 15 minutes remaining Graham and Sebastian capsized whilst airborne on a reach. Graham said his Mirror rudder cavitated, that's how windy ot was! Andy and Lily took the lead and the overall win. Graham and Sebastian recovered and managed to still finish second.

Thursday's RNLI pursuit, sponsored by CraftInsure, was sailed in much calmer conditions. Sailing a 2000, Rob and Gemma Burridge looked strong from the outset and finished first, passing the Mirror of Alex and Chris Balding with a few minutes to go.

This year's Junior and Senior race, sponsored by AC Yacht and Boat Surveyors, was sailed in perfect force three conditions. After a week of blasting, the juniors revelled in the mixed fleet of 46 entries. Sailing Toppers, Fred Buckley won with Tristan Shaw in 2nd. Finley Cochrane sailing a Laser 4.7 was third. Jone Watom was first senior, finishing 5th overall sailing a GP14.

Onto the special awards. Matthew Somerville was awarded the HiJinx Trophy for best helm under 19 and the Endeavour Trophy for best junior was awarded to Oliver Smith, who despite the challenging conditions completed many races in his RS Tera when not sailing in the Mirror.

So that's it. Another Bass Week done. Many thanks to our sponsors Craftinsure, the Lakes Distillery, Carruthers & Kent, Embleton Spa, Ennerdale Brewery, Cumbrian Ales, Luchinis Ice Cream, Impact Marine, AC Yacht & Boat Surveyors and Bassenthwaite Lakeside Lodges. Bass Week 2023 starts on Saturday 5th August. Read all about it on the Bass Week website, including full results and photographs.

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