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Ginger Boats Mirror Northern Championship and Catapult Open at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club

by Bass Press 2 May 2023 19:30 BST 29 April - 1 May 2023
Ginger Boats Mirror Northern Championship © William Carruthers

Seventeen Mirrors and eight Catapults descended on Bassenthwaite Sailing Club on the early May Bank Holiday for a joint open meeting and to compete for the 2023 Mirror Northern Championship, sponsored by Ginger Boats.

Saturday's forecast didn't promise much and at the scheduled start time of 14:30, PRO (and Commodore) Ian Preston signalled all racing postponed till Sunday. With most competitors camping on-site, this enabled those hungry and thirsty to enjoy the club BBQs and accompanied by a few sherbets whilst overlooking the attractive views of Skiddaw. The break in the schedule also benefitted the new owners of two newly launched Ginger Boats Mirrors with extra tinkering time and much admiring from onlookers.

Sunday dawned chilly and a little damp in places, the breeze however was looking much better for the earlier start time of 10:30. With four races planned, two before lunch and two after, both fleets headed to a busy racecourse accompanied by 30 club boats racing for the Jak Pot. As the day progressed the breeze gradually built, offering planning conditions after lunch, which kept Red Seal Rescue busy with several capsizes. After four races, defending champions Phil and Oliver Smith (Bassenthwaite SC) led overnight, counting just five points from four races. Will and Isabelle Crocker (Welton SC) were second overnight but some way behind, counting eleven points.

In the Catapults John Terry (YDSC) won the first race but eventually succumbed to Gareth Ede (CCA), who won the final three races of the day and started what was to later become a very convincing score line.

Competitors were somewhat weary on Sunday evening, with fuelling required by a visit from the local fish and chip van followed by waffles from the waffle van! Emma Rydal organised a pool competition which turned out to be much more competitive than the sailing. After many, many rounds, Iona Cheyne donned the sash and was crowned (literally) as the inaugural Bass SC Pool Champ.

With two back-to-back races scheduled on Monday, competitors were rigged and ready for another 10:30 start. The breeze was similar to Sunday, a slowly building westerly which allowed some stretching of legs.

In the Mirrors, Phil and Oliver Smith built a healthy lead, winning race five and with it the Northern Championship with a race to spare. Angus and Isla Armstrong (West Kirby SC) sailed consistently, counting a second and a third to claim second overall on countback from Will and Isabelle Crocker in third. Gareth Ede continued his dominance, counting a string of first places and winning by a healthy four points from John Terry in second. George Evans (Bala SC) finished third, counting sixteen points and a score line which was improving as the series progressed.

It was encouraging to see so many children competing in the Mirror fleet. Prizes sponsored by Ginger Boats were awarded to all young competitors. The joint Flying Fifteen and GP14 open meeting, Sponsored by Impact Marine, is next up at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club on 13/14 May. Entries are open here.

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