Gazette Report – 27 August 2019

Royal Windermere Yacht Club’s Seventeen Footers back on the water in glorious bank holiday conditions

The Royal Windermere Yacht Club’s current “Race Week” got off to a flying start with the return of the Windermere Class 17 Foot fleet who had missed the last 2 weekends’ racing owing to strong winds.
The late summer bank holiday weekend treated the ‘Seventeen Footers’ to near perfect sailing conditions after a slight delay in the start of Saturday’s first race while Race Officer Tony Houlihan waited for the breeze to arrive. With a relatively light breeze Tony set the fleet off on a short windward leeward course. ‘Falcon 11’ (Tony Rothwell) pulled away from the fleet but unfortunately made a course error on the downwind leg allowing the fleet to take his lead. Meanwhile, ‘Chameleon’ (Nigel Tullett’) took the new lead with ‘Pilgrim’ (David Milburn) and ‘Fathom’ (Graham Murray) chasing hard. ‘Chameleon’ managed to pull slightly ahead to take 1st place with a photo finish between ‘Pilgrim’ and ‘Fathom’ for second place, with ‘Fathom’ winning by less than a second!
Amongst the 17 foot fleet racing on Saturday, the classic fleet also had close racing and great competition! ‘Atholl’ (Nick Aubrey) took 1st place followed by ‘Snark 11’ (Les Gorton) who put in a good performance, and ‘Whisper’ (Gay Crossley) came 3rd.
Fearing the wind might soon disappear, the Race Officer started the second of Saturday’s races very promptly, keeping the fleet on another short windward leeward course. The fleet split across the lake trying to gain tactical advantage in the fickle breeze. With one lap completed the breeze dropped away making conditions very difficult. ‘Chameleon’ and ‘Fathom’ eventually managed to pull away from the pack who by now were struggling to complete the course. With virtually no wind at all, two yachts retired early. ‘Fathom’ managed to reverse the placing from the earlier race by taking 1st place from ‘Chameleon’ and Gay Crossley in ‘Whisper’ sailed another impressive performance in such difficult conditions sailing through the fleet on the last leg to take 3rd place overall.
Bank Holiday Monday’s racing was equally exciting and in glorious afternoon conditions. Sunshine and light south easterly breeze greeted the fleet in the south lake as they competed for the Susan Crossley Trophy and Tarakee Cup.
Race Officer Steve Bewsher set the fleet off on a windward leeward course with an initial beat to Beech Hill before running back downwind to Seals. ‘Falcon 11’ (Tony Rothwell) managed once again to pull away from the fleet on the start line with his new found performance however as the fleet reached the top mark the lead was snatched from him and ‘Chameleon’ (Nigel Tullett) was first to round the mark closely followed by ‘Atholl’ (Nick Aubrey), ‘Pilgrim’ (David Milburn) and ‘Falcon 11’. The three fought a close battle on the downwind leg. Despite the chasing pack closing the gap ‘Chameleon’ managed to hold off the competition to take 1st place, ‘Falcon II came second’ and ‘Pilgrim’ third.
Amongst the classic fleet within the race, ‘Atholl’ came first, ‘Whisper’ second and ‘Waterwitch’ third.
Race week continues this week.

PHOTO accompanying this press release: Close competition among the Windermere Class 17 Foot fleet competing in glorious conditions on the Bank Holiday weekend. Please credit IAN WATTS (photographer)

(Please see Ian’s website for more sailing photos – Lakeland Photo Centre)