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Home > News > Lyons win the 61st Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy
Home > News > Lyons win the 61st Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy

Lyons win the 61st Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy

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Published 23:52 on 4 Jul 2023

The 49er sailed by the brothers Matty Lyons and James Lyons win the 61 st Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy at Ullswater Yacht Club on July 1 & 2.

The iconic long-distance event was established by the club in honour of Lord Norman Birkett who died in 1962, two days after making a successful speech in the House of Lords preventing Ullswater from becoming a reservoir which would have restricted public access. It has become more than just a race but a Festival of Sailing attracting entries in a wide range of different dinghies, keelboats and cruisers from all over the country.

The Commodore, Kathryn Hall, welcomed 208 entries to the 61 st Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy from the race box balcony as the wind blow across the lawn. With a moderate breeze the Sean Brooks, the Principal Race Officer set a course for Norfolk Island, back to Pooley Bridge and finishing in front of the club. The fleet massed for the 1pm start, only to be brought back under a general recall. Only on the third start under a black flag did the fleet get away cleanly, into a building breeze.

30+ knots met the fleet as they rounded the narrows and headed for the island. Plenty of drama followed, keeping the Safety Officer, Edmund Clarke and the safety crews occupied.

The 49er of Matty and James Lyons lead the fleet, chased hard by the 505 of Nathan Bachler. Both having to pick there way back through the fleet of beating and capsized boats. The 49er finishing the 12mile course in 1hr 9mins mins and 18mins ahead on the water, but the 505 took the Saturday win on handicap in front of the 49er in second. The Fireball of Graham Newton from Staunton Harold Sailing Club, finishing third in the Saturday race, finishing only ten mins behind the 505 on corrected time. Further back in the fleet, several classes experienced close racing, especially the Fireballs, who were thriving in the heavy weather and the RS 400 and Flying Fifteen fleets.

Sunday brought more Westley to the breeze, making a difficult start in front of the club house and again it was only on the third asking under a black flag, did the fleet get away. With the same course to Norfolk the fleet beat up through a building and unsteady breeze, before turning round the island for an exhilarating ride home, back to the leeward mark off the Pooley Bridge Steamers pier.

Again, the 49er of Matty and James Lyons lead the fleet round in the island first, with the 505 chasing them down. Also in the mix was the Musto Skiff of Mike Mathews, the Musto Skiffs, which were exceling downwind, giving plenty for the spectators.

The safety crews were kept busy in the difficult conditions, over the six-mile course as competitors battled the challenging conditions. But it was the 49er again first home and then the wait for the 505 with the clock ticking by. But unknown to Matty and James, the 505 had broken its mast and was sailing back under a jury rig. However, the race was still on with the Musto Skiff of Mike Mathews who took second, the RS 400 of Chris Pickles from Bassenthwaite in third and the Fireball of Russ Cormack from Budworth in fourth, all pushing hard to close the gap.

When all boats were safely ashore, the 61 st Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy was awarded to the previous 2016 winners, the 49er sailed by Matty and James Lyons, from Ullswater Yacht Club. Second was the Mike Mathews in the Musto Skiff and third was Graham Priestley, crewed by Josh Moran and Dylan Noble in the VX One.

The weekend's main sponsors were Waitings, the civil engineering contractors and plant hire experts based near Penrith, David Allen, IT Solutions based in Carlisle. Also supporting the event were Ullswater Steamers and Dalemain Estates.

The club thanks all the volunteers who worked so hard to make the 61 st Birkett possible. And a huge thank you goes to every sailor who took part in the racing - you all make the Birkett such an amazing event.

61st Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy over all results

Pictures by Tim Olin

Top Ten Winners

Rank Class Helm Crew Club
1 st 49er Matty Lyons James Lyons Ullswater Yacht Club
2 nd Musto Skiff Mike Mathews n/a TBA
3 rd VX One Graham Priestley Josh Moran, Dylan Noble Ullswater Yacht Club
4 th RS 400 Chris Pickles Matt Sharman Bassenthwaite Sailing Club
5 th VX One David Clarke Time Emery, Andrew Smith Ullswater Yacht Club
6 th Fireball Russ Cormack Ali Cormack Budworth Sailing Club
7 th VX One Tony Lewis Andrew Cutting, Cathleen Schwarzlose Ullswater Yacht Club
8 th RS 200 Andrew Peters Jill Peters Castle Cove Sailing Club
9 th Fireball Daren Fasey Colin Davis Staunton Harold Sailing Club
10 th RS 400 Alistair Coates Thomas Coates Budworth Sailing Club

Class Prizes

Rank Class Sail No Helm Crew Club
1st Albacore 8152 Philip Smith Steve Carr RYA
1st Enterpise 21777 Oliver Boocock Luke Hartshom Scammonden Water Sailing Club
1st Fyling Fifteen 3927 John Thornley Megan Thornley Ullswater Yacht Club
2nd Fyling Fiteen 3506 Christain Barnes Denise Sykes Ullswater Yacht Club
1st GP14 13146 Steve Ward S Starkle Bartley Sailing Club
1st K6 114 Tony Harper Steve Watson NCSC
1st 2000 2703 Oliver Thompson Elliot Thopmson West Riding Sailing Club
1st ICLA 6&7 217872 Tom Moss n/a Scaling Dam Sailing Club
1st Tempest 1181 Keith Lockey Paul Adams Ullswater Yacht Club
1st Fireball 14837 Russ Cormack Ali Cormack Budworth Sailing Club
1st Musto Skiff 625 Mike Mathews n/a TBA
1st RS 200 1559 Andrew Peters Jill Peters Castle Cove Sailing Club
2nd RS 200 1642 John Wilson Laura Glover East Lothian Yacht Club
3rd RS 200 296 Jamie Tylecote Evie Coates Rutland Sailing Club
4th RS 200 1318 Nigel Pepperdine Simon Kelsall Staunton Harold Sailing Club
1st RS 400 1453 Chris Pickles Matt Sharman Bassenthwaite Sailing Club
2nd RS 400 498 Alistair Coates Thomas Coates Budworth Sailing Club
3rd RS 400 145 Alex Leonard Ben Murrell Bassenthwaite Sailing Club
4th RS 400 1347 Chris Massey Andy McKee Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club
1st VX One 180 Graham Priestley Josh Moran & Dylan Noble Ullswater Yacht Club

Individual Trophies

Trophy Class Helm Club
Ullswater 'Steamers' Trophy
(61st boat past Birkett plaque on Saturday)
Wayfarer George Sawyer & Jill Quick Coniston Sailing Club
Dalemain Trophy
(Visiting club with most entries)
- - Budworth Sailing Club
Barclays Bank Trophy
(Best place UYC)
49er Matty Lyons & James Lyons Ullswater Yacht Club
Top Visiting Cruiser Platu 25 Alan Bennett & Team RCC, EMBC
Tortoise Trophy
(last placed boat with 2 results)
Micro Gem 550 Gavin Goodall & Team Ripon/Telford/Clywedog
Mike Barnard Trophy
(Best placed under 21 UYC helm)
& Development Challenge Trophy
(Best placed under 18 UYC helm)
RS Feva Mathew Boatman & Olivia Dembinska Ullswater Yacht Club

Gallery 2023 Courtesy
Tim Olin, Specialist Marine Photography
Paul Hargreaves, photography.

Last updated 19:02 on 13 November 2023

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