GP14 Northern Championship

DSC_0166Great winds were forecast for the first day of racing with a fleet of 28 boats.

The wind was erring towards a southerly, which would mean some good long beats down the lake. However, a touch of westerly had the wind swinging around Sale Fell from time to time. This was apparent in the first race when the beat became a little one sided, and the OD starred to have kittens. However, there was some close racing, and Matt Thursfield secured his first win of the day.

After checking the southern end of the lake for a consistent breeze, it was decided to use that part of the lake for race 2. Racing started in a good southerly, but 10 mins in and it was no longer a steady wind… Holes appeared, major shifts, and much frustration. Just after shortening the course, the wind filled on the western side of the course which wasn’t where the leaders were, and Matt romped home with his second win.

The course area reverted to the northern bay for race 3 where there was a good westerly (and it wasn’t even a sea breeze!). The wind was swinging a little, but there was good close racing in excellent conditions. Bass’s Dave/Lynn Lawson took an early lead, built on it leg by leg, and held it to the finish.

With the forecast of lighter winds for Sunday, the OD continued with the quest to sail four races. The conditions held to get another good race in which, early on had Bass in the first three places. However, it wasn’t to last, but GP treasurer Paul Bowmer flew the flag for Bass and led the fleet at the finish.



DSC_0168 (2)

Overnight positions had Matt in the lead, with Paul, Dave and Commodore Andy Smith, all from Bass, taking the next three places.

With two further races to sail, what would Sunday’s weather bring? Answer – a better than expected southerly. Would the OD chance using the southern end of the lake again? Once bitten…

Despite the 10.30 start being a challenge for some to get to the line, there were three boats that had to be recalled for being over the line. As none returned, they only discovered they had erred as they crossed the finish line but without a hoot. The most unfortunate offender was Commodore Andy Smith who built up a strong lead, which he held all the way, scuppering his chances in the championship.

The final race was held in the northern bay as well. Dave/Lynn took the lead from the windward mark. Despite being challenged by Richard Instone, they stayed ahead, winning the race and the championship – a great bonus for Lynn’s birthday! The remaining contenders for the championship, Matt and Paul, were 3rd and 5th respectively finishing 2nd and 3rd overall, but in equal points. Obviously a close run, challenging championship that was enjoyed by all.

If you are missing a spinnaker or tiller extension, give us some identifying details and we’ll check if the ones found are yours!

Final results


Northern Championship winners Dave & Lynn Lawson from Bass


Posted in Opens

End of Summer Bash

Another bright, dry, but cooler day. Full of the joys, Mik started Bart’s Bash early with a gate start while the entrance gate was still closed! Consequently, the sliding gate is out of order and you will need to use the current gate code to release the combination lock that secures the temporary chain and gate.

Please contact us if you need to know the code for visiting the club at non racing times.

Racing wise, there was a light breeze from the ENE. Neil/Judith took an early lead in the F15s but the conditions were more suited to Ian/Lezli-Ann who broke through to the front and held it till the finish. They performed well in the 2nd race too, taking the lead, and building on it, until they were caught out by light airs around 3 when Neil got past.However, Neil rounded the penultimate mark the wrong way, only realising as Ian rounded it correctly, took the lead again, won the race, and secured the series!

Steve/Ruth in a Merlin and took two wins, while Robbie D/Banter in a RS400 had two 2nds. Tog took a 3rd in the final race reinforcing his overall lead in the final race of the series.

Final results

Sunday started off with cloudless blue skies, the turbines at Bothel were turning, and there was a light breeze on the lake, but would it hold? With an earlier than usual start, and a forecast for the wind to fade, we were keen to get boats on the water and racing underway for the Bart’s Bash world record.

Photo 21-09-2014 11 04 07As the race formed part of a worldwide record attempt across 650 countries with 14000 competing boats it was important that we recorded the length of the course, the number of boats competing, the distance travelled and the time taken, and have it all independently verified,

As often occurs, the wind eased just after the start sequence, but the OD allowed the race to continue due to the expectation of nothing better to replace it. However, the wind did fill in quickly after turning through more than 90degs! Fortunately, one of the legs accommodated this shift which meant there was still a beat within the course.

With 36 starters racing from Youths to Grand Masters, and Rookies to past National Champions, there was a great mix of talent and experience sailing boats from Mirrors through to RS 400s.

Although our results are now live on the Bart’s Bash website there are a couple of timing errors that need corrected . On normal PY basis, our race was won by Phil/Naomi Smith in their RS200, just 5 secs ahead of Dave/Lynn Lawson. The top 6 boats within 30 secs of each other!

Bart’s Bash

As planned, there was a BBQ over lunch, and the weather couldn’t have been better. Overall we are pleased to be able donate £325 towards the Bart’s Bash charity in addition to £110 of separate donations that have been made directly by competitors.

On such a pleasant day several sailors were keen for another race, the final one in the MJM/Asymmetric Challenge series. The wind direction seemed to be from the North, but it did shift, and fade at one point, but it was another race, and those that persevered were glad to be on the water.

Not sailing the final race meant that Dave/Lynn would be ousted from pole position as they did not have enough qualifying results, but Mike/Kayla, despite not racing had a good discard which ensured they could not be beaten in the MJM Series. No takers in the Asymmetric Challenge so Tog wins that trophy.

Final Results

Posted in News, Racing

Splash hit at Southport


Last year it was decided the time was right to send another team of Bass Sailors to the world famous “Southport” 24 Hour Race hosted by West Lancs Yacht Club. The Club has an excellent record in the event winning it twice in 1992 and 2003 with several other top 10 finishes. Unfortunately we could not source a suitable boat or team but WLYC kindly allowed us to carry the entry forward to 2014. Again difficulties were encountered securing a competitive GP14 and team but Neil Garrison stepped forward with an alternative, why don’t we take his old Enterprise and some give some of our younger members the opportunity to come along, crew and experience this fantastic event.

The week prior to the race saw a number of developments and Mark Ninnim offering firstly his older Enterprise and on Thursday evening his current boat an excellent GRP Enterprise so the race was on.

The majority of the team congregated at Southport on Saturday morning, Neil had camped on Friday Night, Alex and Olivia had traffic problems on the A66 and arrived in the afternoon along with Dave and Lynn fresh from their voyage on the James Cook tallship. The Commodore with daughters Katya and Lily arrived to deliver a motivational speech and spent the rest of the afternoon searching for Katya and Lily amongst the crowds before departing leaving his good lady to the sailing.

Bass were boat number 30 which meant we started in flight 3, boats start at 1 minute intervals in groups of 10. Mark & Emma were first up in a light ENE wind. They made a great start at the port end and were clear leaders off the line. They continued to make excellent progress and passed the baton to Neil and Izzie at around 3.30pm. During this time position updates were infrequent but we were in 8th to 10th, excitement amongst the team was building The winds remained light and fickle as Neil & Izzie made their debuts at the event, they sailed for just short of 3 hours before handing over to Dave and Harry we were maintaining our position despite the trying conditions. Dave is a veteran at the race and Harry a debutant, once Dave had taught Harry how to roll tack progression was quick, and a cheer from Bass spectators was heard when it was announced we had finished 3rd in the Dusk Race, fastest lap after 8pm, and first Enterprise. Harry put it down to him breaking out the navigation lights!.

Mark & Emma took over after 9pm before departing to a proper bed at Chez Preston near Blackpool. They were followed by Alex & Olivia just before midnight, and at the halfway stage we were lying 12th. The wind had picked up slightly and it was cooling down rapidly, spectators were thinning out as sailors tried to get some sleep or partied in the marquee. Just before 3am Ethan and friend Alex had discarded the tiger Onesie, donned sailing gear armed themselves with numerous glowsticks and took over. Our position was still been maintained and it was definitely getting cold now.

At 5.30am Dave and Izzie were shivering beside the changeover point, Izzie having pestered Dad Mike every hour as what time it was, seriously disturbing his sleep, the enthusiasm of youth. They went out to see the daybreak and Ethan once again donned his Onesie. Dave and Izzie sailed really well and we were 3rd and first Enterprise in the Dawn race, fastest lap after 6am, a double for Dave with different crews.

Just after 8am Neil and Harry took over, by this time we were fluctuating between 10th and 11th our closest rivals been Pilkington who had our past commodore Steve Hunt, Ruth and rescue driver Chris sailing for them!! Rumour has it Steve took an inadvertent dive headlong into the lake at an early morning crew changeover, how is that possible?

Word was received from Chez Preston that Mark and Emma were hotfooting it back and they arrived at 9.30am took over from Neil & Harry in and interesting change over that has been reported on various media outlets and is in need no further reporting, they sailed until the midday finish. The whole team and supporters were there to cheer them across the finishing line and help pack the boat away.

All those who took part, on the water and providing support, agreed it had been a fantastic event. The mixture of experienced 24hr sailors and first timers blended really well, all want to return next year. Everyone played their part and were a credit to Bassenthwaite Sailing Club throughout the event. An added bonus was we finished 11th out of the 64 teams, and picked up a prize for winning Flight 3 by a clear margin, an excellent result and a lot better than we expected.

Special thanks to Mark for lending his boat and Neil for offering to lend his boat that was the catalyst that got us there.

Results can be found here.


The younger portion of Team Bass at Southport

Posted in News

Tinker Trophy


A new winner – Malcolm!

With the onset of the Southport 24 hour race, we have pulled together a team of willing volunteers to race in this prestigious event for the first time in several years and, for the first time, we are racing an Enterprise! Good luck to all the team, especially as the race started with a lack of wind.

Back at Bass, there was a similar lack of wind for the visiting Tinkers first race, though it did fill in from the East to keep everyone moving for the rest of the afternoon. The Tinkers had a fleet of 10 boats this year, and completed six races over the weekend. Unusually, for Bass, there was a new leader and overall winner this year, Malcolm (sorry, don’t know his surname), who was presented with his trophy by Vice-Commodore Mark Somerville.

Club racing comprised the Tinker Trophy but, with many away at Southport, there was a low turnout (much to AJ’s delight). AJ led the first race but had to make do with playing second fiddle to Jim in the 2nd race, while Nigel always stayed close to the mix (except when his out haul came undone!). Sazzle had a keen start in the first race, but misunderstanding the oh so helpful advice from many ventured even further into the race area before the start. Consequently she was recalled as the rest of the fleet sailed on. All part of the learning curve. Kayla kindly nurtured Josh around the course for his first ever race in a Topper, and he promptly beat her! Well done.

As expected, Sunday had stronger winds, well at times! The problem was that the wind was swinging around Skiddaw offering either an Easterly or South Easterly. Each of these directions cast shadows on the course area causing some drifting conditions. Although there was a better turnout, and Neil/Rory led the way beating John/Nigel by more than 1 min on handicap, the competition for the trophy would remain with Saturday’s main contenders – AJ and Jim, who was overnight leader with two 1sts. Jim was sailing with grand-daughter Poppy and they convinced themselves that, having beaten AJ in the morning, their position was unassailable so opted not to race the final race.

There was a couple of premature starters in the 2nd race, one of which was Neil/Rory, but the wind dropped so it was a slow process for them to return. There seemed to be great confusion as to whether there was an individual or general recall as several tried to drift back to the start line. Some 4 mins later, Neil had cleared the line again, and the wind started to fill in to take the fleet down to 15. The first boat to come back into view from the clubhouse on their return leg was that of Neil/Rory having built up a 6 min lead on the next boat of Tim/Ian which was sufficient to give them their second win of the day, and secure Jim/Poppy’s winning position in the series.

The finish was not without its moments when several boats opted, for no apparent reason, to cross the finish line from the wrong side, so they delayed their finish until they finished correctly!

Final results

Posted in Racing

Night Jar 17

To quote TS Elliot, the Night Jar series ended …not with a bang but a whimper! The OD concluded there was no chance of sailing on flat water and the abandonment flags were raised.

This gave more time for the Bring & Eat meal and much chatting along the table. The key event was Ken’s birthday. After he had blown out the obligatory candle, Val cut up the cake for each of the twenty two laid back ex sailors to enjoy.

Glenys kept those who could hear in continual laughter with her repertoire of jokes and Joan took AJ at his word when he said no food should be left and surrounded him with the residual offerings! No sailing – but a good time was had by all!

Congratulations to AJ & Sue on taking first place on PH from Joan & Jack. And to absentees Mike & Eric for winning of FH.

Final results PH FH

Posted in News

Fleet Challenge C

The final Fleet Challenge of 2014 commenced on Saturday with a light but sailable Northerly wind, 12 boats took part in the first race a decision was made to run it as a mass start with results calculated on personal handicap, despite been advertised as a pursuit series.

Robin Dawson and daughter Amber led the fleet in a RS 200 from start to finish. Mike Moore and Kayla Sheard in a Flying Fifteen recovered from a poor beat to mark 2 to overtake Tim Knowles and Martin Statter also in a Flying Fifteen to finish second.

When results we calculated the Wayfarer of Chris Lloyd and David Ferguson took overall honours followed by David Haselden in his Solo and Jonathan Anson in a Laser.

The 2nd race saw a wind shift just after the start which meant the first beat became a fetch for many. Mike and Kayla lead the fleet with Tim and Martin 2nd. After the results were calculated Chris and David were again victorious to lead the series overnight. Mike & Kayla finished 2nd and Jonathan had another 3rd to lie 2nd overall. Mik Chappell in his Mirror is lying 3rd overall despite hitting the last mark and having to do a penalty turn.

Sunday started as another glorious morning, though wind was light, and somewhat variable. The tell tale Bothel turbines were suggesting a northerly direction, but the signs and direction at lake level were not following suit. It was to be day when whatever OD Mike wanted and expected would be thwarted by the wind.

Due to the light airs, Mike was in a benevolent mood and delayed the first race start by a whole 7 mins, not that it was enough time for all to get to the line. Kayla was racing her Laser, and out in plenty of time, but got caught in a hole and ended up taking 3 mins to cross the start! The wind was very variable throughout, and some boats had to beat, for a short while at least, on the first two legs. On a personal handicap basis, Ian Hall was 1st 2mins ahead of Joan/Jack in their GP.

Again the wind teased Mike by coming from the West while he set the course for the 2nd race, only to generally settle from the North. Sazzle struggled to get her head round the course, reading 0B5 y/z as 05B x/y! The shifting wind suited her ‘course’ better than Mike’s! Kayla surprised herself, and the leaders, by twice getting into the lead for a while. Such a fine performance gave Kayla a deserved 1st place just 15 secs ahead of AJ/Sue

For the 3rd and final race of the day, Mike relied on the wind holding from the North. Although the fleet had to beat at the top of the windward leg, gusts from the West meant there was even more fetching to contend with. AJ/Sue won on handicap 45 secs ahead of Harry in a Laser Radial.

In the final out turn it was Mik in his Mirror that won overall, 3pts ahead of Hazel/Izzie in a RS Feva

Final results

Posted in News

Night Jar 16

This one was held in very light airs. Many crews felt sure it would be cancelled and didn’t bother to rig. But the OD found just enough of a breeze near the Armathwaite shore. It was northerly so the course was a gentle beat from A to B, a drift inshore to 3 and a slow run on the return to A. Seven boats made the delayed start – well, some of them were a little late, but at least they crossed the line.

Joan & Jack led on the outward legs and then made some shrewd light weather moves, firstly by reaching away from the lee shore and with it the flat water, and then by placing the crew on the foredeck behind the sail, the helm balancing at the shroud and the transom clear of the water. They built up a good lead and, by mutual agreement, were finished after one 20 minute lap.

There was a close contest between Peter & Neil in an Enterprise and AJ & Sue in their GP. It looked like a build up to Southport! Sue tried flying the kite but, when it refused to fill, she dropped it and was accused of rocking – or was it ooching! They reached the finishing line in second place but with the Ent close astern.

Further back, Harry was also benefiting from having David on the foredeck of his Topper. He was next to finish ahead of a mixture of boats. Hazel was in a Feva with Izzie as crew, Lottie in the family Radial and Rosie in her Topper.

All either sailed, paddled or were towed back to the Club where another excellent meal was served.

FH results were the same as the positions on the water except that Peter was classified ahead of AJ and Rosie ahead of Lottie. On PH it was Joan & Jack taking the win with Peter again coming an excellent second. Neil reckoned he was giving Peter on the water training but, with the wind as it was, it was not thought that he contributed much to the result!

Latest results PHFH

Posted in Racing

Belated Bank Holiday Weekend Series

Despite a forecast with 30mph gusts, 15 boats took to the water and enjoyed some exciting racing in gusty, and shifty, conditions for the start of another weekend series.

Simon/Jon led the way in the F15s in both races, with Ian/Lezli-Ann keeping Mike/Kayla at bay in the first race and vice versa in the second.

Similarly Dave/Lynn won both GP races. AJ/Sue recovered from a prolonged capsize on the first beat of the first race and sailed on to finish 2nd. Val/Ken were Dave’s only competition in the 2nd race.

Robbie D/Izzie took two wins in the Handicap fleet with Alistair Richards 2nd in his Laser and Trevor 3rd in his Dart in each race.

As forecast, Sunday’s winds were significantly lighter, and although the day was sunnier there was no sea breeze to pep things up through the afternoon.

The wind direction backed a little after the line was set for the morning race and, surprisingly, did not veer back again. However, conditions throughout the course continued to be shifty. Dave/Lynn and Simon/Jon bagged another win strengthening their leads, while Ian Hall in his Solo beat Robbie D/Izzie, and Mik beat Pam in the Mirrors/Toppers.

Gary/Lottie in a F15 seemed to have a personal battle with AJ/Peter (Lottie’s dad) and fought hard to stay ahead (Sorry I can’t remember if they succeeded!)

After lunch a further two races were scheduled. The F15s continued their over eager starting and Neil/Judith were recalled, while Mike/Kayla’s conscience got the better of them and they started to return too! Although this did Mike no favours, he did work his way back up the fleet to win, but Simon couldn’t be beaten and didn’t sail the final race in which Neil/Judith claimed their first win of the weekend.

Joan/Jack took an early lead in their GP, but Dave worked to gain another win, and the series trophy. Val/Ken won the final race.

In the Mirrors, Pam led both afternoon races but Mik managed to take the lead for the final race and win the series. Hazel secured two 3rds to finish on equal points with Jenny, but the tie was split in Hazel’s favour, and she finished 3rd overall.

Although Robbie D had to make do with a day of 2nds, when combined with his 1sts from Saturday, he had a clear overall lead ahead of Alastair in a Laser.

Final results

Posted in Racing

Night Jar 15

Another blustery evening with a Force 4 Southerly wind and choppy water which put a few people off. Others took their time in deciding to launch which delayed the start for a while. Will need to be on time on the next two Thursdays or we will be finishing in the dark.

The course was 0-8-A-B which could have been better as it gave a slow reach in the lee of Sale Fell and ended with a quirky second beat into 8. Never mind, there was more than enough wind on the A-B leg!

Dave and Lynn took the lead of the eleven boat fleet followed by John Crosbie in his 400. Gary had not taken the FF out in such heavy conditions and was struggling, so he & Kayla headed ashore. And John was caught out on the exposed and gusty third leg and ended up with a fair length of his mast embedded in the mud. In fact there were numerous capsizes and the two safety boats were continuously at work standing by and assisting.

Hazel, Lottie and David in the three Toppers had taken a considerable time to negotiate the Sale Fell wind shadow and, with the wind strengthening further, they were finished in that order at the end of lap 1 having endured 25 minutes of hard racing.

At their finish at the end of lap 2 it was the GP’s of David & Lynn, Val & Ken and AJ & Sue ahead of the Radials of Paul, Peter and Nigel. And that was also the finishing order on Fleet Handicap.

AJ & Sue took another win on Personal Handicap and are virtually assured of winning the Series. Peter was an excellent second and there were, somewhat incredulously, identical corrected times for third place between Val & Ken and Paul.

Latest results FH PH

Posted in Racing

Sailing Away

Izzie and Harry arriving for a voyage on training ship James Cook.

Proud mum received some communication ‘having great time, don’t text me!…’

Day 2

Harry and Izzie are now in Campletown having left Whitehaven last night. This is not the first such trip as a group of young people from the club went to Scotland in the distant past (in the 1980s?) to sail a boat called Taikoo. Could have been some of the member’s children who are now elevated to be members who are now parents of young people.

You can access to voyage on enter James Cook Sailing Vessel.
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OYT North have planned to have a boat jumble stall at Whitehaven Marina on Saturday the 30th August where there will be people more than willing to talk about the alternative sailing for younger people. We are also looking for sailing equipment donations to sell for funds to support local young people on future voyages. Nothing is too small if we can make a few shillings.
Contact Andy Sugden or even bring it along on the day. Sure there must be some of those children’s lifejackets in the garage or even a few dozen screws or shackles that others may be able to use.

Better still if you are in a corporate position we are always looking for sponsors for what has been a proven 50 year track record in sail training and has had a place in Cumbria for some time. James Cook attended the Official Whitehaven Sea Lock Opening Ceremony when local young people from our schools and companies sailed it to the event. It has even sailed around the world with young people on board.

James Cook will then be back in Whitehaven Harbour on the 30 August if want to have a look as it prepares for the turn around when she heads for the North East Coast via the Caledonian Canal. On board will be another connection from the club.

Anyone wishing to know more can catch me at the club or make contact direct.

It has been regrettably the best kept secret in sailing.


Andy Sugden – the one with the bump on the head at Bass Week and now to be seen wearing a bump cap!

Posted in News

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