POWERBOATS will zip again on England’s longest lake this year for two special events - after winning permission from the Lake District National Park Authority.
Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club has been given the green light by park officials after earlier concerns this year that its application may not fulfil new criteria needed to lift the 10mph speed limit byelaws.
There will now be two afternoons of racing between midday and 5pm on Saturday July 12 for its Annual Regatta and then again on Saturday September 27 for Commodore’s Day.
The club welcomed the decision and say the events would help ‘maintain the heritage of powerboating racing’.
It has been racing on Windermere since 1926, and opposite its Broad Leys club house since 1952.
Racing was stopped on Windermere when the 2005 speed limit was introduced but the club continued to race 10 days a year at Barrow Docks.
Last autumn, the club held two very successful afternoons of racing with over 250 spectators watching from the shore and the grounds of Broad Leys and Storrs Hall Hotel, which it was keen to repeat in 2014.
Carole Shaw, for the club, said: “The support WMBRC has received in making their application has been tremendous. Residents, businesses, lake users and visitors have all given us their full support. We appreciate that some people find the racing intrusive so the club is committed to limiting the number of events and maintaining a specific and controlled race course and keeping the noise within the limits set by the Royal Yachting Association and will work with SLDC Environmental Officers.
“This will enable us to promote the safe use of powered craft on the lake that add a significant value to the economy of the region, with the support of the majority of those who use the lake and the surrounding area.”
People will be able to view the racing consisting of up to 20 boats in five races on each afternoon from Storrs Hall Hotel. WMBRC will also be making tickets available to the public to join club members to view the racing from Broad Leys. Details will be published in June.
Ms Shaw added: “WMBRC have worked closely with the LDNPA and are delighted that there is now a process in place to apply for such exemptions. However under the LDNPA policy introduced in December 2013 the club has to apply separately every year at a charge of approximately £1600 per application.
"This is a costly process for a small non-profit making club and creates very tight time scales in which to organise the events under the varying conditions that are applied each time. WMBRC hopes to work with the LDNPA to find ways of making the process more effective, efficient and economical in the future for both parties.”
Windermere is said to have been formed 13,000 years ago during the last ice age, and has 18 islands.