There was an inevitable delay to the planned noon start for the 3 races on Saturday due to the lack of wind, Peter Baldwin, PRO for the event, was waiting for the forecast wind to arrive whilst the sailors socialised on shore. After a postponement, the fleet was launched to cross the lake in a firm F3 wind, there remained the risk of fog which loomed in the surrounding hillsides. As the race sequence for race 1 got underway the more inexperienced among the fleet had an opportunity to try out their starting technique on an 80+ boat startline as it took 4 attempts & the black flag to get the race underway.
Sunday dawned with grey clouds and wind, gone was the fog threat of the previous day. Race 4 got underway close to the planned start time in the strongest wind of the weekend. The topper of Megan Adams was seen returning just after launching with a bailer malfunction, her pit crew of 5 or 6 soon had a replacement fitted and in true Formula1 fashion she was on her way & made the start. A steady Force 5 was being recorded on the committee boat with gusts in excess of 20 knots being recorded on the race course, during the course of Race 4 this breeze fell back to F4/F3 where it remained for the rest of the day.
Felicity started Sunday where she finished Saturday, winning Race 4 then managing 2nd & 3rd in the final races to win the whole event by a comfortable margin. Henry Wetherell took the remaining 2 wins of the day but this was not sufficient to get onto the final podium as Michael Beckett and Andrew Bridgman had performed with sufficient consistency for the 2 days to edge ahead at the gun. A highlight of the day to the watching parents & supporters was the cunning & wonderfully executed port end flyer by Lewis Kneale in Race 5, Lewis admitted afterwards to bottling it a little & not quite crossing the whole of the fleet but it will undoubtedly remain in his memory for some time. Prizes were awarded down to 15th position, additionally Dan Venables was awarded the prize for first U13, Joe Henderson was 1st U12, Lewis Tyson was 1st Bassenthwaite sailor, James Williams came 1st 4.2 rig and Rory Humphries earned the endeavour prize.
It was a great benefit that flights were not required as the single mass start for each race meant that a minimum time was spent between races, all the planned 6 races were completed. The cool, varying, shifty breeze with gusts proved a good test for all the competitors, the predominantly westerly breeze being fed off the Irish Sea caused many changes in position throughout the fleet, each position being fought for with supreme effort. Many of the less experienced sailors suffered spills which will, in time, add to their skills – all came off the water smiling, perhaps a little hungry but most of all hungry for more competition.
A big thank-you to Bassenthwaite Sailing Club for organising a fantastic event, great food, great camping, a beautiful setting and even an ice-cream van in the dinghy park on Saturday afternoon, a relaxing atmosphere that the parents in particular made the most of.