Bassenthwaite Sailing Club hosted an excellent weekend sailing for the Flying Fifteen Northern Championship on the 9-10 June. Weather conditions varied from light winds in hot sunshine to strong winds with sudden squalls and even heavy rain for a short period. It was an event that proved to be a complete test of a well-sorted boat and efficient crew.
Officer of the day Andy Smith did an exceptional job, giving a variety of courses in the changeable winds that often characterise sailing at Bass.
A visiting fleet included former world champions Steve Goacher and Alan Bax (Northampton) along with Terry Crumpton (Derwent Reservoir), Neil Platt (Bolton), Chris Ducker (Windermere) and Tony Lee (Derwent Reservoir) so the competition was going to be fierce. Neil Platt/A. Gerard (3729) stormed round the first race in strong conditions to notch up their first win with Goacher (3721) and Crumpton (3702) battling it out for second and third respectively.
Race two was held in even stronger conditions with some wild squalls screaming down the lake. Both Neil Platt (3729) and R Coates (3484) lost their masts when standing rigging gave way with expensive results. Goacher won race two and Howard Green had just opened his birthday present from his wife and found inside a brand-new fifteen (3734). He took his pal Ian Preston for a sail and ended up with second place. Terry Crumpton was again third.
Sudden heavy rain lashed by stiff winds made race three rather unpleasant at times and after a good race Alan Bax posted a third position to keep him in contention but with Goacher getting another win, the championship was getting very close. D Douglas/A Weatherspoon (3590) separating the pair with Bass members Scott Beattie/ John Somerville (3673) in fourth.
Sunday was a wonderful day, warm sunshine and good winds all day. Past Bassenthwaite member Martin Stott (3219) certainly enjoyed it, leading the fleet in race four for much of the time and the all female boat of Wendy Somerville/Elaine Fairlamb (3332) were right up finishing in fifth position just behind Alan Bax, Chris Ducker, Howard Green and once again, Steve Goacher. The classic boat of J Arnold/M Pearce (2663) led the classic /silver fleet easily.
The final race of the series was superb with good long beats followed by some varied spinnaker legs and places were swapping constantly. Neil Currie having sold his boat last years borrowed the ex-Goacher boat (3521) and was right up among the leaders with Paul Burnell crewing. They eventually finished fifth. Another longstanding Flying Fifteeen stalwart Graham Kirkpatrick, having recently sold his boat to Ireland, is considering a classic Fifteen and so borrowed 2504 and managed to keep it in the top 10 until the finish line. Andrew Dunning/Dave Lawson (3641) got into the groove and after battling with Terry Crumpton/John Mathie finished third and second respectively.
Howard Green/Ian Preston were fourth, Alan Bax took and William Carruthers/Alan Smith finished seventh. Scott Beattie was eighth after doing turns for hitting a mark and a further two turns for hitting Ian Campbell while doing turns!
In race five, Goacher and Evans showed their true colours by taking line honours once again and thus retained another Northern championship in convincing style.
After the event it turned out that Terry Crumpton’s boat had not been measured and so he was disqualified from the championship.
1st 3721, S GOACHER & P EVANS WINDERMERE 4pts
2nd 3638, H GREEN & I PRESTON LEIGH & LOWTON 11pts
3rd 3611, A BAX & J WYLING NORTHAMPTON 15 pts
4th 3673, S BEATTIE & J SOMERVILLE BASS 20 pts
5th 3521, N CURRIE & P BURNELL BASS 21 pts
6th 3703, C DUCKER & R RIGG WINDERMERE 22 pts
7th 3641, A DUNNING & D LAWSON BASS 28 pts
8th 3590, D DOUGLASS & A WEATHERSPOON DERWENT RES 33 pts
9th 3268, W CARRUTHERS & A SMITH BASS 38 pts
10th 3690, T & D KIRCHIN LOCH LOMOND 47 pts