Please select your home edition
Sailingfast 2018 2 728x90

RS 400 Trident UK Northern Tour at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club's Great Northern Asymmetric Challenge

by Hamish Gledhill 20 Sep 15:27 BST 16-17 September 2023
2023 Trident Great North Asymmetric Challenge at Bass © William Carruthers

The Trident UK Northern Tour concluded at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club as the RS400 fleet competed as part of the ever-popular Great Northern Asymmetric Challenge (GNAC).

With 8 races planned over two days GNAC is always considered to be a full-on event, with all the 'Bs' in place to make for a great weekend for all involved. i.e. boats, breeze, bar, band, bacon sandwiches and banging hangovers.

17 RS400's raced as part of the fleet of sixty-three asymmetric boats that were split into two flights. The RS400s comprised the majority of the fast fleet.

The first race started in a gusty F3/F4 blowing from the north-east with big shifts and big gusts meaning the positions at the front of the fleet were shuffled more than Dynamo's favourite pack of cards. Home sailors Alistair and Evie Coates appeared at the front of the fleet but had to retreat having missed the upwind gate, leaving fellow Bassenthwaite SC sailors Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman to take the win, ahead of Hamish Gledhill and Ross Southwell (West Riding SC), and Chris Gowers and June Riley (Port Dinorwic SC) who were returning to the fleet after a hiatus of several years.

The second race was quickly under way, and with the left side of the course still being favoured, Mark Somerville and Joe Roberts (Bassenthwaite SC) sailed away from the fleet into an unassailable lead, with close racing in the pursuing pack. Pickles and Sharman were second ahead of the Coates pair.

The wind held for races three and four, but the racecourse was evening out with gains to be made up both sides of the course. These changing conditions made Pickles and Sharman's wins in these two races even more impressive. Somerville and Roberts were showing consistency with a second in race three ahead of Nick Hunt and Alex Oyston (Tynemouth SC), and then in race 4 it was Jacob Ainsworth and Kayliegh Roberts (Tynemouth SC) turn to follow Pickles/Sharman over the line ahead of Gledhill/Southwell.

After four races in three and a half hours, the fleet headed for shore to tape up blisters and a bit of relaxation and food in the bar before those with any remnants of energy moved/danced/staggered to the live band.

In the morning the early rain stopped as the fleet headed out for the start of race 4. With the wind blowing from Bass Lakes' preferred direction, a south easterly force three to four, the race team set a two-mile windward leeward course. The course was gradually reduced during the day as the wind dropped, but the larger course made for more space for the 63 boats on the water.

Pickles/Sharman continued their master class by winning races 4 and 5, but not before being challenged hard by Charlie and Caroline Exley (Bassenthwaite SC), who were enjoying their last mother and son moment before Charlie went away to University that night. They pushed hard in both races and only lost the lead in race 5 in the last few lengths to the finish line. Behind them Gledhill and Southwell were third in both races.

In race 5 Tim and Jess Hall (Port Dinorwic SC) made the early running before being overhauled by Gledhill/Southwell, who held on to take the win less than half a boat length in front of Pickles/Sharman with the Exleys taking third. In the final race of the weekend Pickles/Sharman had yet another win ahead of Gledhill/Southwell and Hunt/Oyston.

As the fleet headed ashore battered and bruised credit must be given to PRO and former RS400er Paul Allen for turning round the eight races with minimum delays.

Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman were the clear winners, and second overall in GNAC, with Hamish Gledhill and Ross Southwell second and Mark Somerville and Joe Roberts third., As usual this was a great event with very tight sailing in the RS400 fleet. A quick glance of the results shows there is close racing from the front to the back of the fleet, which is a great reason to join the fleet on the Northern Tour next year.

At the prize-giving Trident UK vouchers were presented to the first three boats.

Thanks to Trident UK for their sponsorship again this year.

More photos at

Overall Results:

1st1453Chris PicklesMatt SharmanBass SC121111216
2nd1511Hamish GledhillRoss SouthwellWest Riding/Leigh and Lowton SC2453331214
3rd1484Mark SomervilleJoe RobertsBass SC6124596422
4th1461Charlie ExleyCaroline ExleyBass SC491092231029
5th1456Nick HuntAlex OystonTynemouth SC973106125333
6th1465Tim HallJess HallPort Dinorwic SC85867741137
7th1410Jacob AinsworthKayleigh RobertsTynemouth SC13DNC721149740
8th498Alistair CoatesEvie CoatesBass SC12311DNC458DNC43
9th145Alex LeonardBen MurrellBass SC711.51259610643
10th1442Chris GowersJune RileyPot Dinorwic SC3867RET14131249
11th1437Justin SmithSarah BatchelorTynemouth SC11691213814955
12th438Alastair RimmerEthan DawsonBass SC10101411121011860
13th1460Dave ExleyJack ExleyBass SC5DSQ488DNCDNCDNC61
14th1401Bill KenyonMathew WilliamsBudworth SCDNC131314RET137565
15th1191Louise McKeandSean RatcliffeLeigh & Lowton Sailing Club1511.51513101112DNC72.5
16th1068Jacob KnockSteve SinfieldPort Dinorwic SC141516151415151487
17th878John HestenSonia KDovestone SC161417DNC1516161390

Related Articles

Rockshore/Bosun Bob's RS400 Winter Series day 5
The murk disappeared, the sun came out and a lovely breeze filled in If you had checked the half a dozen forecasting apps like me, Sunday's wind forecast would have ranged from two to five knots from either east or west and it was going to be very cold, and sure enough it was very cold. Posted on 5 Dec
RS400 Rooster National Tour summary
Congratulations to Ollie Groves and Esther Parkhurst The final event win at the RS End of Season Regatta was the cherry on the cake for Ollie and Esther who had already wrapped up the overall Rooster National Tour after a stellar year on the circuit. Posted on 28 Nov
RS Association supports cancer survivors
Dedicated fundraising support for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust Young cancer survivors supported by the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust have benefited from the RS Association's dedicated fundraising support throughout the year, raising over £2,700 across numerous events in 2023. Posted on 28 Nov
Rope4Boats RS400 Southern Tour summary
Congratulations to Tom Halhead and Paul Hilliar The Rope4Boats RS400 Southern Tour has now concluded and what a year it has been! The tour kicked off in mid-March at Queen Mary with a coaching/racing double header. The tight racing set the scene for the rest of the year. Posted on 28 Nov
Rockshore/Bosun Bob's RS400 Winter Series day 4
A surprisingly lively day leads to a missed opportunity for some For the 4th instalment of the famous Rockshore & Bosun Bob's RS400 Winter Series the mood in the boat park was less than cheery. Spells of rain and glassy conditions that morning led most sailors to believe that no racing would occur Posted on 26 Nov
Rockshore/Bosun Bob's RS400 Winter Series day 3
The forecast heavy rain was playing kind and seemed to be avoiding Belfast Lough A cold and fresh westerly wind attracted a larger turnout for week 3 of the Bosun Bob/ Rockshore RS400 Winter Series at Royal North of Ireland YC as the lucky streak of glamour sailing conditions continued for yet another weekend. Posted on 20 Nov
RS Class Association announce new round of grants
Funding for coaching has been released - clubs welcome to apply Following the completion of another successful racing season, a new round of coaching grant funding has been released. Posted on 15 Nov
Bosun Bob's/Rockshore RS400 Winter Series day 2
The forecast put off a few of the potential players Sunday week 2 of the series arrived dank and dismal with light rain and a forecast including 29kt gusts; what a contrast to the previous bright and sunny weekend which had seen the return of Bob Espey into the class. Posted on 13 Nov
RS400 End of Seasons Regatta at Rutland
112 boats took part in the national tour this year, with 63 attending more than one event The final remnants of Storm Ciaran made a damp and chilly start for the 15 hard crews who battled through the downpours for the final RS400 Rooster National tour event of 2023. Rigging was optimised to allow maximum time in the clubhouse. Posted on 8 Nov
RS400 Trident UK Northern Tour overall
Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman take the series with 4 event wins Congratulations to Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman (Bassenthwaite SC) for winning the 2023 RS400 Trident UK Northern Tour. They did it in style with four wins, not to mention the two second places that they did not have to count. Posted on 6 Nov