Royal Windermere Yacht Club hosts Flying Fifteen Lakeland Grand Prix 2019
Sailors from throughout the UK travelled to the Royal Windermere Yacht Club this past weekend to compete in the Flying Fifteens Lakeland Grand Prix which is an ‘open’ weekend of racing available to any club in the country. Competing against top sailors from clubs in Blackpool, Ullswater, Bassenthwaite and Bewl Valley in Kent, local Windermere sailors sailed exceptionally well in a highly charged weekend of racing.
Five races were held, three on Saturday and two on Sunday. Racing took place in the North Lake on both days.
Saturday’s racing was in sunny but cold and blustery conditions with a force 3-5 South Easterly wind. The start line was near Bark Barn on the West shore and there were three back-to-back races. Race Officer Steve Bewsher laid a triangle and sausage course for all three races. The first two races were won by Nathan Batchelor (Tynemouth Sailing Club) crewed by Richard Rigg (The Royal Windermere Yacht club), followed closely by Flying Fifteens’ world champion Steve Goacher (The Royal Windermere Yacht Club), crewed by John Mathie. The Royal Windermere’s famous father-and-son team of Nigel and Graham Tullett came third. In the third of Saturday’s races, Steve Goacher with John Mathie took first place, closely followed by Nigel and Graham Tullett in second and Nathan Batchelor and Richard Rigg in third.
Commenting on Saturday’s racing, Race Officer Steve Bewsher said it was ‘highly charged’, ‘extremely exciting’ and predicted that ‘Sunday’s racing would be knife-edge and skilled.’
Sunday’s races were also in the North Lake, this time on windward leeward courses. The wind had strengthened slightly and was extremely shifty around the windward mark. In Sunday’s first race (and the fourth of the Grand Prix), Steve Goacher took first place. Entering the second race of the day and the fifth and final one of the weekend, it was almost neck-and-neck at the top of the leader board with everything to play for. Despite a poor start to the final race, Nathan Batchelor and Richard Rigg recovered extremely well and took the lead on the first windward leg, extending their lead to win comfortably. Nigel and Graham Tullett came in second place and Steve Goacher in third.
After a tiring and action-packed 5-race series and all the scores were analysed, the Flying Fifteens Grand Prix 2019 was won by Nathan Batchelor and Richard Rigg by a mere one point, followed by Steve Goacher and John Mathie in second place, and the Tulletts in third in their well-named ‘Niffty’.