World class Royal Windermere Yacht Club sailor wins

Flying Fifteen Northern Championship

Forty-six (46) competitors, including 9 boats from the Royal Windermere Yacht Club, competed in the Flying Fifteen Northern Championship on Windermere on 21 and 22 April 2018, with renowned local sail maker Steve Goacher winning the weekend’s competition by a narrow margin in a highly competitive series of races.   Steve is the current Flying 15 World Champion.  His yacht was crewed by Tim Harper.

The weekend, hosted by the Royal Windermere Yacht Club, involved 5 races and an Olympic course of ‘triangles and sausages’ on Day 1 and a ‘windward leeward’ course on Day 2.   It is truly a Lakeland ‘grand prix’ and a world-class event. Competitors from clubs throughout the UK entered. 

With 150 years of experience, it’s a universally acknowledged phenomenon that there is no wind on the lake until after 2pm!   However, with a weekend packed with races, the competitors had to defy the time-honoured weather patterns!  As usual, Windermere gave competitors and spectators alike an array of unpredictable periods of calm, fitful zephyrs from the south, and, of course, rain!

On Saturday, calm conditions proved problematic as the start time approached but excitement mounted as a breeze came from the south and the race was ‘off’!

Sunday morning dawned much colder, with rain and a forecast of more wind. A good sign for an 11am start!   A ‘windward leeward’ course was laid and the race was a picture of sails and activity in the north basin of the lake.  As further races took place throughout Sunday, shifty wind conditions kept everyone on their toes.  

All the Flying Fifteen competitors were fitted with trackers to provide live broadcasting to the audiences ashore to follow the action in the races.  Passenger ferries, rowing boats, canoes, electric hire boats, sailing cruisers, motor cruisers, paddle boarders, patrolling RIBS and other lake users added to the entertainment value for spectators as the lake came alive with activity throughout the weekend.

The weekend’s event is a significant championship in itself and is also a world qualifier event.    At the end of the weekend’s racing, the results were:

1st      4021    Steve Goacher  Tim Harper                  Royal Windermere Yacht Club

2nd      4002    Graham Vials   Chris Turner                Derwent Water Sailing Club  

3rd       3760    Jeremy Davy    Martin Huett                Draycote Water Sailing Club

4th       4005    David McKee   Mal Hartland               Dovestone Sailing Club          

5th       4030    Greg Wells       Andrew Jackson           Hayling Island Sailing Club    

6th       4055    Ian Cadwallader  Ellie Deveraux          Chew Valley Sailing Club

It is also noteworthy that the Royal Windermere Yacht Club also had first female helm and all-female crew in the championships:  congratulations to Emma and Clare Houlihan in ‘Flying Ferret’ who came 25th overall.   

Other excellent results for the Royal Windermere Yacht Club include: 
9th place to Dave Heron and Chris Ducker, and 11th  place to Nigel and Graham Tullett

From Carolyn Dodwell

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