Press release 29/8/2018

James Nield takes first race in Royal Windermere Yacht Club’s Commodore’s Prize Series

The Royal Windermere Yacht Club’s James Nield was back to his winning ways in the first race in the Commodore’s Prize series, taking first place in his Devoti D-One.     In a fluky westerly wind, James triumphed in Thursday evening’s Dinghy Handicap race.   


The Royal Windermere Yacht Club’s race officer Steve Bewsher set a challenging course in the North Lake to keep the dinghies away from the possible wind shadow under Claife, avoiding any periods of lack of wind.    The race had a particularly tricky leg with a tight reach which made it difficult for the GP14s to use their spinnakers effectively.   The gusty conditions created much jockeying for position as the wind shifts played to the strengths of different types of dinghies at different times!


The race consisted of GP14s, a Devoti D-One, Phantoms, an RS400 and last week’s winner (Nigel Hutchinson) in his Solo.    The lead was soon taken by three of the ‘slow’ handicap dinghies who had a five minute start advantage.    Setting the lead was ‘Boo’ (a GP14) helmed by John Pawson but he soon had fierce competition from Amanda and Stephen Wilson in ‘Crackerjack’ (a GP14), with Nigel Hutchinson in his Solo ‘Ultra-Sonic’ hot on their heels. 


Meanwhile, the ‘fast handicap’ dinghies quickly made up their five minute difference in Thursday’s often lively conditions, with James Nield soaring ahead on a long, steady gust and sweeping into the overall lead.   James maintained this lead for the rest of the race, closely followed by ‘Boo’ (John Pawson), while Nigel Hutchinson in ‘Ultra-Sonic’ gave James a real run for his money on the last downwind leg, spurred on by a fresh breeze under a looming black cloud.  He sailed past ‘Crackerjack’ and almost caught ‘Boo’, coming an overall second on handicap.  


The second and third dinghy races in the Commodore’s Prize mini-series take place during Race Week and will be reported in next week’s Gazette.


In other racing news, Bank Holiday Saturday’s Windermere 17 Foot class saw 13 boats out in overcast conditions and winds of 6-12 mph, competing in the upper lake in a race which took them to the most northerly mark on the lake.    ‘Chameleon’ (Nigel Tullett) took the lead followed by ‘Fathom’ (Graham Murray) and three other boats in close succession, with the running order staying pretty much the same to the finish.  Special mention goes to Harry Frith helming ‘Deva’, crewed by the club’s Commodore Simon McVey, for a best finish of their season.


Meanwhile, the Flying Fifteens also competed on Bank Holiday Saturday with ‘Across the Lake’ (Miles and Cathy Thompson) taking first place, followed by ‘Factor Fifteen’ (Frank Kelly).                                                                                                                 

The Club’s third Race Week of the season now takes place, with competitions for all classes of boat.  Results will be reported next week.