Flying 15 Northern Championship

The Flying 15 Northern Championship was held at Bass this weekend. The forecast was for a weekend of strong winds – which was what was delivered. There should be some exciting racing!!

Sixteen visitors arrived to join the six Bass F15s.

At the briefing the Race Officer offered to set a course but after much pursing of lips and counting of white horses, the fleet elected to catch up on its reading.

In contradiction of the forecast, the wind eased and the PRO suggested that it was a case of now or never. Reluctantly the fleet agreed to launch.

Steve Goacher won the first race by a country mile. Several boats were flattened by serious gusts; one was blown clean out of the water (literally).

The second under way and the oldest boat in the fleet was towed back in, partially submerged. If it was to be a race of the submarines Tim Chittenden was likely to come to the fore.

It seems that the most significant tactical decision that most crews had to make was whether or not they should fly the kite. Many felt that the answer to this was, ‘NOT’!

Sunday morning dawned cold, wet and windy. The wind, however, eased through the morning, and the Race Officer elected to start at 11:00.

The Race Officer radioed ashore to say that they are experiencing a problem with the committee boat and to hold the competitors ashore temporarily. After yesterday’s punishing conditions only 10 boats took to the starting area.

Steve Goacher lead comfortably, but was taken out while broad reaching on starboard – a boat sailing upwind tacked onto port and collided with his starboard shroud, with some resultant damage.

And then there were nine.

The fourth (and possibly the last) race got under way. Only seven boats remained in the fray, but with Steve Goacher out, Nigel and Gavin Tullet from Royal Windermere secured two firsts, and the championship. Simon Robinson and David Vasey from Derwent Reservoir came in 2nd overall with two seconds for the day.

Prize for first Classic went to Bass’ own Graham Kirkpatrick and Nick Smith, beating first Silver fleet boat sailed by his son, and Commodore, Stephen Kirkpatrick with Keith Thomas.

Overall winners Nigel and Gavin Tullett

Classic fleet winners Graham Kirkpatrick and Nick Smith receiving their prize from Commodore’s wife Claire Kirkpatrick