THE penultimate race of the season for the Royal Windermere Yacht Club’s Windermere Class 17 foot fleet took place in very strong south westerly winds on Saturday.

Race Officer Peter Gooch laid a windward leeward course but by the time the fleet had reached the windward mark, the wind was gusting to well over 30mph and one boat was forced to retire.

‘Whisper,’ helmed by Gay Crossley, as first around the top mark, closely followed by ‘Fathom’ (Graham Murray), and chased hard by ‘Pilgrim’ (David Milburn) and ‘Mistral’ (Robert Slack).

‘Fathom’ gradually eased past ‘Whisper’ then after a close tacking dual, ‘Pilgrim’ pulled ahead of ‘Whisper,’ then as the breeze increased further, and a second boat retired, ‘Fathom’ held the lead to take first place, with ‘Pilgrim’ coming second and ‘Whisper’ third.

A large team of dinghy sailors competed in the continuous 24-hour race on the Marine Lake in Southport, starting at noon on Saturday in glorious sunshine at noon on Saturday but with windy conditions developing on Sunday.

Of the 77 teams competing, the Royal Windermere’s squad came overall 19th.

Further afield, the National and World Flying Fifteen Championships at Laoghaire, Ireland saw 75 competitors from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Africa, Spain, France, Canada, Ireland and Great Britain battle it out, with Windermere's Steve Goacher and crew Tim Harper, who were 2017, finishing a creditable 11th.

The Royal Windermere Yacht Club’s father-and-son duo of John and Robert Richardson both sailed superbly in the RS100 nationals at Porthpean, Cornwall.

Meanwhile, Robert won the Youth Prize and finished in overall second place, while dad John won the silver fleet prize and came overall 10th.