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2023 Great North Asymmetric Challenge sponsored by Trident at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club

by Bass Press 18 Sep 2023 20:59 BST 16-17 September 2023

Bassenthwaite Sailing Club hosted sixty boats for the 2023 Great North Asymmetric Challenge sponsored by Trident. The GNAC has become a firm favourite in the asymmetric sailing calendar, with this year's event welcoming visitors from all over the UK.

Sailing a 2000, Guy and Julie Boswell from Llandegfedd SC won the furthest travelled prize, just shy of three hundred miles from Cardiff to Bassenthwaite! Thanks to the spacious club grounds lots of visitors set up camp on Friday evening, making the most of the modest camping fees (and beers!).

The fleet of sixty three was split into fast and slow, with combined overall results for the GNAC and fleet racing within for the RS200, RS400 and 2000s who use the event as part of their regional championship series. Race one commenced at 13:00 on Saturday. The breeze exactly as forecast, easterly force three to four with occasional gusts helping to keep the spectators entertained. The easterly wind direction resulted in a fast and furious racecourse with some boats lapping six or seven times. Sailing an RS400, last year's GNAC champions Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman won race one. Sailing a 59er, John Reekie and Andy Tunnicliffe won race two by almost one minute on corrected, no small feat given second to sixth all finished within thirty seconds of each other on corrected. Race three went a similar way with John and Andy winning again! Chris and Matt returned to the front in race four, finishing two minutes ahead of the second placed RS400. Four races in three and a half hours!

Overnight Chris and Matt's RS400 and John and Andy's 59er were tight at the top. Counting two 2nd places, Andy and Mart Couch were not far behind sailing a VX One. All was set for an exciting final day. Bass volunteers served up one hundred and thirty portions of pie from the galley and a quick 'glazed eye ball measurement' on Sunday morning suggested the bar was busy long after the live band finished!

Sunday's forecast rain didn't really materialise. After a short postponement for a protest, sailors were greeted to Bass lakes finest wind direction, a south easterly force three to four which allowed the race team to set a two mile windward leeward course. This gradually got smaller as the day went on and sailors groans (mostly 'tired legs!') increased as they sailed by the start/finish boat.

The longer course allowed the VX Ones to stretch their legs but on handicap it was a different story with RS200s in the mix more than the previous day. Race five was won by Brendan Lynch and Anna McBestie, sailing an RS200. Sailing a 59er, John and Andy returned to the front in race six and seven where the wind was at times blowing mid-teens. As forecast the breeze begun to drop a little for the final race which was won by Chris and Matt sailing an RS400.

Overall it was tight at the top with various classes dominating in different races. John Reekie, helped by Debbie and Kirsty, entered almost 500 race results over the two days. After much number crunching Andy and Mart Couch won the 2023 GNAC, counting fourteen points from eight races in their VX One. Sailing an RS400, last year's winners Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman finished 2nd on sixteen points. Sailing a 59er, John Reekie and Andy Tunnicliffe finished 3rd counting twenty three points. Brendan Lynch and Anna McBestie claimed the RS200 2023 Northern Championship, finishing 1st in the twenty-two boat RS200 fleet. Chris and Matt finished first RS400. Tats and Bonnie Greenhalgh finished first 2000. Ben Greenhalgh and Tom Sinfield finished first RS Feva.

Another great GNAC with all the usual ingredients of fine winds, great parties and lots of prizes thanks to out generous sponsors. It was encouraging to see lots of youth sailors making the challenging conditions look easy int he RS Feva fleet. Final results available here including break downs for the RS400s, RS200s and lots of photos taken by William are available on the club web site

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