The competitive year for visitors to the award-winning club launched with the annual three-day regatta, an open event for all classes sponsored by SpeedSix boat products. The club, winner of Yachts and Yachting Magazine’s Club of the Year and RYA Club of the Year, also welcomed the RS200, Feva and Aero classes and the event was part of the Musto Skiff Traveller Series. This added up to a bumper turnout of 93 boats for the event which had a new format of ten races planned over three days with separate windward/leeward and conventional courses.
On day one, Saturday, April 15, the racers faced challenging conditions with winds gusting to more than 30mph in icy blasts from the north-west. The windward/leeward fleets raced round the corner from the clubhouse, and there were separate starts for RS200s, Fevas and the Asymmetric Handicap Class. The Asymmetrics were the biggest class with 34 boats, including 9 Musto Skiffs and 7 SB20s. Three races were held in increasing gusty winds.The safety crews were kept very busy and there were some dramatic downwind legs, all in full view of the guests at our next door neighbour, the Sharrow Bay Hotel. First places were taken by a Musto Skiff and two SB20s. In the RS200s, Ollie Groves and Esther Parkhurst of Beaver SC, the overall winners, began to make their mark with an impressive three firsts in the 18-strong fleet. And in the Fevas, Tom Storey and Ollie Kent of Yorkshire Dales SC, also impressed with three wins.
The racers in the conventional fleets at the Northern end of the lake also experienced the same challenging winds for their three races on an Olympic course. Ben Rolfe of Burghfield SC in an Aero 7 won all three races in a fleet of 12 Aeros, 5s, 7s and 9s. Also racing on this course were the fast and slow handicap fleets.
On Sunday, four races were planned and the wind had eased, starting very light but freshening throughout the day. In the Asymmetrics, first places were spread over three different classes, leaving the final day of racing to be the decider. The RS200s were racing for two days only and Groves/Parkhurst took two more firsts to clinch the 7-race event. Good placings by two more boats from Beaver SC made it a clean sweep for the club. Feva sailors Storey/Kent also took another first and two seconds.
Ben Rolfe continued to dominate in his Aero, winning another three races on the conventional course on Sunday. In the fast handicap, Dave and Sue Giles of UYC won two races and firsts were also taken by Mike Adams and Paul Kingsley-Adams of UYC in a Tempest and Sam Thompson and Leanne Hibberd of RNSA in a Merlin Rocket. Streaker sailor Graham Bristow of Leigh & Lowton SC, who had won two races in the slow handicap fleet on Saturday also won two more races on Sunday.
By Monday the wind had deserted the lake and with the windward/leeward fleets staying ashore under a postponement, the fast/slow handicaps sailed two short races. The Aeros drifted round for one more race before they decided to call it a day. The windward/leeward fleets finally got out on the water but the hoped-for wind did not arrive and they also sailed two more drifting races. An SB20 sailed by UYC members Mike Matthews, Carl Outhwaite and Billy Maughan came first and third on the final day to win overall and SB20s took the next two places.
UYC’s next Open is the 2000 Rooster Inland Championships on May 27 & 28.
RS200 1. Ollie Groves and Esther Parkhurst, Beaver SC
2. Sam & Tim Waller, Beaver SC
3. Martin & Tom Penty, Beaver SC
RS Feva. 1. Tom Storey and Ollie Kent, Yorkshire Dales SC
2. Jamie Raistrick and Madeleine Bristow, Yorkshire Dales SC
Asymmetrics. 1. SB20, Mike Matthews, Carl Outhwaite and Billy Maughan, UYC
2. SB20, Martin Boatman, Stu Brown, Ian Turnbull, UYC
3. SB20, Lee, Jonny & Danny Boatman
Musto Skiff. 1. Jonno Shelley, UYC
Aero 1. Ben Rolfe, Burghfield SC
2. Chris Jenkins, Bowmoor SC
3. Ed Storey, Yorkshire Dales SC
Fast Handicap. 1 F15, Dave & Sue Giles, UYC
2. Merlin Rocket, Sam Thompson and Leanne Hibberd, RNSA
3. Tempest, Mike Adams and Paul Kingsley Adams, UYC
Slow Handicap. 1. Topper, Alexander Baird, Sheffield Viking SC
2. Streaker, Graham Bristow, Leigh & Lowton SC