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Lord Birkett Trophy

  • RS400s at The Lord Birkett, Ullswater, 2017
  • RS400s at The Lord Birkett, Ullswater, 2017


Photo: Paul Hargreaves

RS400 Northern Circuit at the Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy

With 29 RS400’s entered into the Lord Birkett Memorial race at Ullswater over the weekend of 1/2nd July 2017, the 400’s were the largest fleet participating. It was all set for another great event, as over the years the 400’s have typically faired very well in the final results. The event comprises just one race on each day, 7 miles to the top of the lake and back, with 230 boats all competing for space on a start line across the full width of the lake.

Race 1 got underway at the first try (amazingly) in a twitchy WSW F3/4 gusting 5. Crews were on constant look out for collision course boats as the fleet ducked and weaved their way up the first part of the beat. Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman (Delph SC) just had their noses in front, with Dave Exley and Nige Hall (Leigh & Lowton) and Hamish Gledhill and Simon Dowse (West Riding SC) both ducking the Pix’s transom. As the fleet searched for clean air, Tony Woods and Josh (Glossop SC), who had just jumped back in the 400 after a couple of years absence were making their presence felt up the right hand side of the first half of the beat and were closing into the leaders rapidly. Stuart and Sarah Robertson (Royal Forth YC) were also in the hunt for the lead 400 and making excellent progress in their first ever Birkett experience.

Chris and Matt came together with a Fireball in a port starboard incident and honorably did their turns giving hope to the following pack, but as the fleet approached the narrow middle section big gains and losses were on the cards and Chris and Matt pulled back through to 2nd place biting at the heels of Dave and Nige who held a slender lead to the island turning mark as vicious F5+ gusts made their way spectacularly across the course from unpredictable directions. Keeping the boat upright in these conditions proved challenging and Dave and Nige succumbed to a bad gusty gybe to the delight of Pickles and Sharman who screamed past on a blazing reach only to hear a big “bang!” as the windward shroud separated the deck from the hull and cut short their weekend’s racing there and then. They limped home under jib, good seamanship the only thing keeping their boat from sinking!

Whilst all this was happening, others were trying their luck at locating shallow rocks as they rounded the island: Bill Kenyon and Mark Lunn (Budworth SC) and Hamish and Simon both snapped their runner downhaul as their beautiful foils hit the rocks at pace and mentally planned their gelcoat repairs for after the event. Richard Catchpole and Gary Coop came charging downwind until a big capsize put paid to their race and sent Richard home early, wondering if he had broken a rib!

So it was Stuart and Sarah, Dave and Nige and Hamish and Simon who battled it out on the run home. At the finish, Dave and Nige took the 400 honors from, Stuart and Sarah, followed by Hamish and Simon.

After a great night of dancing in the beer tent, led by an enthusiastic Ben and Jenny, it was unfortunately Ben who had to pull out of sailing on the Sunday with back issues! The price of enjoying yourself!

Sunday dawned with slight less wind and a more WNW direction meaning that the start line created more of a first leg fetch, a la Americas Cup style, only slightly more boats! 2 recalled starts and a black flag – no surprise there!

This time Dave and Nige took the lead up the first beat going up the left, hotly pursued by Stuart and Sarah. Nick Holt and Derek Hill (Blackpool & Fleetwood YC) slipped nicely into third place coming in from the right! Classic Birkett! Dave and Nige just kept their nose in front until the island when Stu and Sarah pulled off the manoeuvre of the weekend by lifting their rudder and centerboard as they cut inside Dave and Nige at the island and sling-shotted themselves into the lead. Stu and Sarah held this lead till the line, finishing a minute ahead of Dave and Nige, who in turn finished a minute ahead of Hamish and Simon in third. Once back on shore a blackboard displayed Stu and Sarah’s boat number as one of 10 unlucky boats who were OCS, handing the 400 title to Dave and Nige.

In the final reckoning, the 400’s had 3 boats in the top 10 with Dave and Nige beaten to the overall top spot by a  Musto Skiff  sailed by Ian Turnbull from Sunderland SC.

Photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157682967188004/

More Photos here: http://paulhargreavesphotography.zenfolio.com/p207970679#h8f340222

All classes results here: http://www.ullswateryachtclub.org/Portals/0/RacingResults/2017/Lord%20Birkett%20Memorial%20Trophy%202017.html

Report: Dave Exley

Birkett Rank SailNo HelmName CrewName Club R1 R2 Total RS400 Position
2nd 1460 Dave EXLEY Nige Hall Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club 5 3 8 1
8th 1407 Hamish GLEDHILL Simon Dowse West Riding Sailing Club 13 6 19 2
10th 1454 Jon HEISSIG Nicky Griffin Llangorse Sailing Club 21 13 34 3
13th 1053 Tony WOODS Josh Glossop 17 25 42 4
21st 1082 Mark SOMERVILLE Joe Roberts Bassenthwaite Sailing Club 38 19 57 5
27th 1465 Ben WILLIAMSON Charlie Ticehurst Welton Sailing Club 37 36 73 6
28th 1401 Bill KENYON Mark Lunn Budworth 60 15 75 7
29th 1155 Nick HOLT Derek Hill Blackpool & Fleetwood Yacht Club 50 27 77 8
39th 1196 Peter SNOWDON TBA Scaling Dam Sailing Club 36 64 100 9
44th 669 Jacob AINSWORTH Kayleigh Roberts South Shields Sailing Club 42 68 110 10
56th 1453 Stuart HALMAN Anna Walsh Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club 69 63 132 11
74th 1380 Jon WILLARS Jon Willars Welton Sailing Club 79 87.5 166.5 12
99th 1325 James LOGAN Philippa Logan Nottinghamshire County 107 111 218 13
112th 1463 Stewart ROBERTSON Sarah Robertson Royal Forth YC 8 229.0 OCS 237 14
120th 1131 Erica CASWELL Ian Caswell Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club 131 122 253 15
124th 1319 Ben ROBERTSON Jenny Douglas Dalgety Bay Sailing Club 33 229.0 DNF 262 16
129th 750 Paul CORNISH Ian Turrell Scammonden Water Sailing Club 146 124 270 17
136th 1396 Richard CATCHPOLE Gary Coop Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club 53 229.0 DNS 282 18
139th 1248 Peter DYER Alan Rogers Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club 152 133 285 19
140th 866 Paul REYNOLDS Cath Reynolds Notts County Sailing Club 149 137 286 20
147th 1024 Nick KINDON Paul Munro Staunton Harold Sailing Club 168 128 296 21
157th 1041 Henry BARNES Grahame Smith Staunton Harold Sailing Club 174 142 316 22
163rd 1054 Carl WHITEHEAD Phil Robinson, Carl Whitehead Filey Sailing Club 106 229.0 OCS 335 23
165th 1172 Ian HOLDEN Jon Pearse Scaling Dam Sailing Club 115 229.0 DNS 344 24
169th 1073 Jamie ROGERS Neil Mclaren   229.0 RET 123 352 25
186th 534 Neil MCCORMACK Heather McCormack Scaling Dam Sailing Club 229.0 DNF 229.0 DNS 458 26
186th 1283 Chris PICKLES Matt Sharman Delph Sailing Club 229.0 RET 229.0 DNS 458 27
186th 1077 Simon NICHOL Lorraine Nichol Chester Sailing And Canoeing Club 229.0 RET 229.0 DNS 458 28
186th 924 Andrew WEBSTER Hannah Webster Ullswater Yacht Club 229.0 RET 229.0 DNS 458 29
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