On Saturday there were two races contributing to the Max Joule Memorial Trophy. All classes started together, the results being calculated on boat handicap.
In the first race, the wind was light and shifting round to the north. The windward mark, buoy zero, often has shifts, but Saturday’s were exceptional. As the boats neared the mark, much to the consternation of the sailors, those who had gone up the left hand side of the leg were lifted about 20 yards from the mark, as were those who had gone up the right hand side of the leg!
Consequently, no-one could tack for the mark. Andy Thomas (Branthwaite) somehow managed to pick the perfect line and was first round the mark in his laser. The two flying fifteen boats had gone via Keswick and were well down the fleet. However, by the third leg, the fifteens were back in front, followed by Andy Thomas and a couple of GP 14s sailed by Robin Dawson with Phil Graham (Wigton) and Mike Fairlamb (Deanscales) with Mike Cowan (Maryport). First across the finish line was Tim Smith (Harrington) in a club topper – the light winds allowed him to sail a lap less than the rest of the fleet. Dave Lancaster with Steve Hannah (both Cockermouth) were next to cross the line, but lost out on handicap to Robin and Phil. Andy Thomas was third on handicap.
The wind then picked up to a good blow for the start of the second race. Mark Somerville (Carlisle) sailed an excellent first leg to take the lead ahead of the two flying fifteens sailed by Mike Moore (Preston) with Ian Smith (Harrington – but no relation to the other Smiths!) and William Carruthers (Carlisle) with Alan Smith (Harrington). William and Alans’ hard work putting on new sails and adjusting the rig tension while the first race took place, paid off and they took a considerable lead. The wind then decided to drop and shift through 180 degrees before picking up again. Fortunately, there was still a beat in the course. William and Alan crossed the line first, followed by Mike and Ian. These places stood even after handicaps were calculated. In the light winds, the lasers and GPs were trying their hardest to roll tack and make use of what little wind there was. Unfortunately, Andy Smith tried a bit too hard and got wet! There were lights winds again on Sunday, but they were a bit more consistent. In the first race (part of the championship series) Dave and Steve in their fifteen took an early lead but were caught by Ian Campbell (Papcastle) with Tony Fisher (Carlisle) and also by William and Alan. Ian managed to get well in front, but William kept catching him. However, William could not get close enough and Ian won the race. The laser race was closely fought between Ian Macpherson (Brampton) and Hugh Godfrey (Whitehaven) with the lead changing every lap. Ian was the eventual winner.
The GP14 race was much closer with four boats going round the first mark together with Mike Fairlamb and Mike Cowan in the lead. They held this lead for a couple of laps, but were overtaken by Robin and Phil who won the race. Andy Smith and Mark Somerville had exchanged their lasers for a GP in this race, but were notable by their absence from the front of the fleet. Apparently it was a bit warm for them and they decided to go swimming!