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    RS100 Ullswater Sailing Club – Great British Sailing Challenge - Ultimate Ullswater 17-18 Aug 2019

    The forecast for the weekend was promising, if you were looking for a good upwind work out with thrilling down winds.

    Five sailors decided to make the trip to the beautiful Ullswater for the most stunning backdrop from which the RO set a series of trapezoid, triangle and windward/leeward courses to challenge the whole handicap fleet.

    Race 1 kicked off with a trapezoid, with wind hitting 25knts. A short chop made for a tough beat. Leg 2 was set deep and in the shifty area off the club, not deep enough for kites and with the added complication a ‘gaggle’ of open water swimmers using the mark as a way point! It required quick thinking, sharp reactions and a lot of luck. Greg and Mostyn manoeuvred well and lead the fleet followed by Aiden showing great control. The others had issues. After a short intermission for lunch, we were all back out for more.

    Race 2 triangle course enabled kites to be flown from the first mark but the wing was still in the shifty zone. Luckily the swimmers had all been scared off. The challenge was to pick your time; any sort of hesitation and you were replacing the swimmers. Greg and Nick managed to pulled out a lead, Nick had slightly better pace on the last downwind leg to secure the win over Greg. Aidan was third, while John capsized to wait for Mostyn.

    Race 3 was windward/leeward, with even more wind. Nick and Greg led the way with John in hot pursuit. Mostyn stopped at the windward mark to play with his ring. Greg hesitated on a gybe and capsized, allowing Nick to pull away. Nick and Greg beat the cut-off and had to go for a third lap, while the rest of the fleet finished and headed in. Greg had a good last beat to put him in striking distance, Nick played cautious at the leeward mark and dropped early and wore around to hold position, then broached on the bear-away and capsized. With a simple recovery Nick managed to recover and finish just ahead of Greg.

    The same wind greeted us on Sunday but with added rain. Race 4 was back to the trapezoid with more carnage and capsizes. Greg led the fleet and was never challenged. Nick and John had communication issues with some port and starboard incidents leading to capsizes. They were joined by Aidan for the short last beat where Nick pipped Aidan then John.

    Race 5, was more of the same. Greg stayed the right way up and led Aidan home. John and Nick had a few capsizes but fewer than Mostyn. Again a civilized lunch allowed us all to fill up with Aiden's chocolate Hobnobs before heading out for one final blast. It seemed to be more like an autumn series race with the the sky darkening and the temperature dropping. It was a close battle up the first beat with Nick rounding first but the cold was stopping his pole deploying - 5 drops and hoists and it was still stuck! Greg sailed past followed by Aidan in hot pursuit. The wind playedd some games on the run, Aidan played the wind shifts well with faultless gybes to round in first followed by Greg and Nick. The wind shifts continued and Greg and Nick played the shifts to overhaul Aidan on the beat. Nick rounded first, Greg joked about Nick putting the kite up properly this time - well, it didn’t happen! Greg came in first followed by Nick and Aidan.

    We all agreed that this had been a fab event. Dave Clark and the Ullswater team did a fabulous job of managing the 6 races and diverse fleet in such challenging conditions. Thank you for a fantastic weekend.

    Nick Heather


    1. Greg Booth

    2. Nick Heather

    3. Aidan Skinner

    4. John Richardson

    5. Mostyn Evans

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