THE Royal Windermere Yacht Club’s dinghy fleet was joined by visitors from Hollingworth, Bolton, and Blackpool and Fleetwood Sailing Clubs for a three-race Open Meeting (‘Northern Belle’) on Windermere on Sunday.

Six Royal Windermere Yacht Club GP14 dinghies took part.

The wind was light as the boats were rigged. It proved slow progress for the fleet to gather in the Lower Lake, south of the ferry for the 11am start.

Race Officer Steve Bewsher had set three races 'back to back' on differing courses, each approximately one hour. As the first race started, the wind picked up and was soon a south/south easterly Force 4-5. Spinnaker runs back north from the Temple mark were spectacular.

The first race was won by Robert and John Richardson in ‘Spirit’, a GP14 which John had owned from new in the early 1990s, sold, and then recently bought back and refurbished. In second place came ‘Short and Sweet’ (helmed by Richard Thompson).

The wind increased further for the second race, which saw a few ‘spills’, including Royal Windermere Yacht Club sailor Nigel Hutchinson and his daughter, who capsized and retired.

The second race was won by Robert Richardson in ‘Spirit’, with ‘Dreamcatcher’ (Simon McVey) in second place. The third race was won by a team from the Bolton Sailing Club, with the Royal Windermere Yacht Club’s ‘Dreamcatcher’ (Simon McVey) coming second. The overall winner of the Open Meeting was Robert Richardson.

Meanwhile, the Royal Windermere Yacht Club’s Nigel Tullett (winner of four races last week) again triumphed in the Windermere 17 Foot Class racing.

Twelve (12) ‘Seventeen Footers’ competed on Saturday in good conditions and some welcome sunshine.

The breeze, gusting during the start, became more variable in strength and direction, which allowed the fleet to remain tight and enjoy some close racing. Race Officer Steve Bewsher sent the fleet down to FBA South then across to Graythwaite on the return leg, keeping the fleet clear of the powerboat racing being held.

The club’s Gay Crossley, helming ‘Whisper’, chased hard in attempts to catch the overall leader Nigel Tullett in ‘Chameleon’.

As the breezed became more variable during the afternoon, there was keen competition with several positions changing towards the finishing line. However, ‘Chameleon’ maintained the lead throughout the race to win. Coming second was ‘Falcon 11’ (helmed by Tony Rothwell), and ‘Liberty’ (helmed by Colin Bentley) coming third.

The weekend also saw the Cruiser fleet out in stiff competition in the south lake in 10-17 mph winds.

After their start, there was a battle up the first beat with ‘Slippery When Wet’ (an MG Club 19, helmed by Craig Allwood) in the lead, until suffering gear failure which required running repairs. Three other boats took advantage of this and pulled ahead.

The fleet seemed fated with technical problems when ‘Secco’ (helmed by Mike Hynes) experienced gear failure and was forced to retire.

Rounding the first mark, ‘Va Voom’ (a Beneteau 21.7 helmed by Trevor Bonson) was in the lead, followed by ‘Silver Mist’ (a Hanse 32, helmed by Nigel Smith), then ‘Slippery When Wet’.

The battle continued until the finish, which saw ‘Silver Mist’ cross the line first. Once the handicap was applied, however, the winner was announced as ‘Slippery When Wet’ (Craig Allwood) with ‘Silver Mist’ (helmed by Nigel Smith) in second place.