Gazette Report – 12 August 2019

12 August 2019
Bumper Weekend for Royal Windermere Yacht Club’s Flying Fifteens
In a bumper weekend of racing, the Royal Windermere Yacht Club’s Flying Fifteen fleet battled it out in challenging conditions. Saturday saw the competitors head to the South Lake in strong south westerly breezes, even though slightly less fierce than forecast. ‘Niffty’ (in the hands of father and son Nigel and Gavin Tullett) won both of Saturday’s races. In the first race, ‘Flying Ferrett’ (helmed by the Commodore’s daughter, Emma, crewed by Stephen Wilson) came second and ‘Felix Felicis’ (Julian Newman and Amanda Wilson) came third. In the second of the day’s races, the second and third places were reversed!

On Sunday, the wind had abated and moved to a more shifty and variable west south westerly direction. With some crews still licking their wounds from Saturday’s challenging conditions, the Flying Fifteen fleet again headed to the South Lake for an afternoon of racing. In the first race, a close battle developed at the front of the fleet between ‘Niffty’ (helmed by Nigel Tullett, crewed by Keith Jamieson) and ‘Pitch Perfect’ (helmed by Dave Heron, crewed by Chris Ducker). At the finishing gun, ‘Niffty’ won by a small margin, with ‘Pitch Perfect’ in second place followed by ‘Felix Felicis’ (Julian Newman, Amanda Wilson) in third.

The second of Sunday’s races saw a similar pattern among the lead competitors, with a surprise lead around the windward mark by ‘Powderhound’ (helmed by John Pollard) but hotly pursued by ‘Pitch Perfect’ and ‘Niffty’. On the second beat, ‘Pitch Perfect’ took the lead over ‘Powderhound’ and won the race, with ‘Niffty’ second and ‘Felix Felicis’ third.

Meanwhile, the club’s dinghy fleet has raced 3 times. The first was last Thursday evening in a very light wind. Race Officer Steve Bewsher set a ‘sausage’ course in Parsonage Bay, just South of Cockshott Point, and the fleet were said to be ‘dizzy’ as they circled the two buoys in their racing frenzy! ‘Short and Sweet’ (helmed by Richard Thompson, crewed by Anna Clough) was off to a good start but beaten by a GP 14 helmed by Becky Thomas, crewed by Tim Bosely. A close fought battle followed between a further 4 GP14s and a Solo. In third place came Nigel Hutchinson who shook off the GP14s!
Sunday’s dinghy race in the South Lake faced a very inauspicious weather forecast but the afternoon turned out much better than anyone could have hoped although the breeze was very shifty and prone to gusting strongly at times. In the first race ‘Spirit’ pulled out a good lead but then sailed to the wrong mark and lost the lead to Pat McVey (also in a GP14). ‘Spirit’ (John Richardson, Stephen Wilson) could not recover the lost distance and came in second. Nigel Hutchinson in his Solo ‘UltraSONIC’ plugged away like a stalwart and came in third place.
By the time of the second dinghy race on Sunday, the wind had settled down and steadied. Race Officer Bewsher sent the fleet to the Cunsey mark which is always surrounded by shifty winds and is tricky to get in and out of. ‘Spirit’ (John Richardson, Stephen Wilson) pulled out a lead, with ‘UltraSONIC’ always in contention fairly close behind. At the Leeward mark for the last time, ‘Spirit’ had a slight advantage. Mixing with the Flying Fifteen fleet in their racing, the excitement mounted. ‘Spirit’ crossed the line first but ‘UltraSONIC’ was close enough to win by 5 seconds on Handicap. In third place was another GP helmed by Pat McVey, crewed by Angela Green. 

There was no racing for the Windermere Class 17 Foot fleet on Saturday owing to the high winds.