Graduate Dinghy Association

With the first race scheduled for the afternoon, the wind forecast was not promising. As expected, it gradually died off through the morning as the fleet of 10 Graduates gathered on the shores of beautiful Lake Bassenthwaite.

The race committee decided on a 1 hour postponement which turned in to a 3 hour delay before the wind filled from the North allowing competitors stuck in an incident on the M6 to sort themselves out.

The fleet started cleanly with the early lead taken by Andy and Sue Flitcroft with Greg Thomas and Abby Hodge close. Richard and Jane Thorpe took advantage of a port lift into the windward mark followed by Bob and Maggie Murrell.

With the fleet fairly bunched there were lots place changes down the second leg that gradually turned from a starboard run to a port reach approaching the second mark. Richard and Jane had the inside line closely followed by the Flitcrofts and Murrells with Roger and Alison Dooley just behind David Ivins and Lesley Johnson.

As the wind gradually died the Thorpes extended their lead. Then the Murrells had a good leg and eased ahead of the Flitcrofts and as the wind deteriorated to drift conditions the Murrells crept temporarily into the lead.

They found the best line into the next mark followed by the Flitcrofts and the Thorpes. At this point the Race Committee decided that enough was enough and shorted the course at what had originally been the windward mark. The Murrells maintained their lead closely hounded by the Flitcrofts until almost at the line the wind filled slightly from the West. Both leading boats noticed and gybe do to take advantage with the Murrells covering the Flitcrofts. Unfortunately for the Murrells two back mark GP14s continued on starboard and there was a port and starboard incident. The Flitcrofts gratefully took line honours whilst the Murrells did their penalty turns within touching distance of the finish line. The Thorpes were third with David and Lesley in fourth and the Dooleys in fifth.

The programme was adjusted to allow the postponed race two to be sailed early on Sunday morning. A brisk southerly Force 4 meant a longer course down the lake. The Fltcrofts revelled in the breezed closed chased by Greg and Abby who also found the stronger wind to their liking. Home team Paul and Emily Clark had a much better time closely followed by the Murrells. Chris and Chloe Parker showed early pace until bounced by a Fireball which upset their rhythm. With a steadier wind direction there were fewer place changes and to fit this race into the day's schedule only one lap was sailed. So in for a quick pit stop before continuing with Race 3.

The wind had eased during the short break and the fleet was in competitive mood at the start of race 3, favouring the committee boat end resulting in some congestion. The Murrells found the conditions more to their liking and found a port lift on the West shore managing to overhaul the fleet despite having to bail out in the melee to the start. Greg and Abby were well placed but Chris and Chloe found their form easing their way to second place as the race progressed. These positions were maintained until the gun with the Flitcrofts close behind.

With 4 crews now in contention, the final results hinged on the outcome of the last race of the event and there was all to play for.

The wind backed during the lunch break and flicked around from South West to North West giving the race officer a headache for race four. After aborting the first race sequence the breeze made up its mind and settled for South South West and filled to Force 2 - 3. This time the East shore was the favoured side. Chris and Chloe picked up more pressure with a port lift allowing them to pull away from the chasing group led by the Murrells. The Parkers pulled away and had an easy win followed home by the Murrells. The Thorpes were well placed early on but were overtaken by the Flitcrofts for the all important third place which was enough for them to take the championship. Greg and Abby came home in a creditable fourth place.

The Graduates had a very enjoyable weekend and we're grateful for the high standard of organisation from the Bassenthwaite team both on and off the water.

Overall Results:

Pos Sail No Helm Crew Club R1 R2 R3 R4 Pts
1 3001 Andy Flitcroft Sue Flitcroft Bolton 1 1 4 3 5
2 3020 Bob Murrell Maggie Murrell Chipstead 2 4 1 2 5
3 2839 Chris Parker Chloe Parker Southport DNC 6 2 1 9
4 2880 Greg Thomas Abby Hodge Southport 6 2 3 4 9
5 2878 David Ivins Lesley / Alexis Johnson Bolton 4 5 5 5 14
6 3013 Richard Thorpe Jane Thorpe Toddbrook 3 8 7 6 16
7 3007 Paul Clark Emily Clark Bassentwaite 7 3 6 7 16
8 2978 Roger Dooley Alison Dooley Ripon 5 7 8 9 20
9 2531 Patrick Hill Jonathan HIll Swarkestone 9 9 9 8 26
10 1718 Simon Forward Moses Forward Toddbrook 8 DNC 10 DNC 29