Members of Ullswater Yacht Club were delighted to take part in the first weekend of racing.
The club opened for the 2020 sailing season almost three months late, in early June, and since then, because of government restrictions, members have only been able to enjoy leisure sailing.
But with the relaxation of the guidelines, the club launched into a racing programme last weekend.
“It was so good to see the boats out racing again after so long,” said Ullswater Yacht Club’s sailing manager Edmund Clarke, of Penrith. He has helped to co-ordinate a new 2020 club racing programme which ensures the safety of competitors and race officials.
To help with social distancing in the dinghy park, racing was split, with the slow handicap fleet and the youths and juniors being held on Saturday, while on Sunday it was the turn of the fast handicap fleet and the cruisers.
Edmund was also especially pleased that the club managed to hold its first training session of the year for a group of youngsters on Saturday morning. Six young cadets were put through their paces by a qualified Royal Yachting Association instructor.
In the afternoon there were two races in a fresh breeze and sunshine for the slow handicap fleet with more than 10 competitors, including eight Lasers. And 10 young racers took part in the first youth and juniors races of the year.
John Lyons in a Laser forged an early lead in the slow handicap series, coming first in both races, and pipping his son James, who got a third and a second.
In the youth and junior racing, both first places were taken by Topper sailor Ranulph Turton. Most of the fleet sailed the wrong course in the first race, a lesson in reading the course board properly.
Another group of racers competed in two races on Sunday in a shifting westerly wind for the fast handicap series.
“We had 12 competitors, six of which were Flying Fifteens, and it was great to see such a big fleet out on the water again. We had some very flaky winds which made for challenging racing,” said Edmund.
“Dave and Sue Giles took first place in the first race in a Flying Fifteen, followed by Graham Donkin and Dave Lyons taking first in a Tempest in the second race.
“A massive thank you to all the volunteers who helped make the successful racing weekend happen — race officers, Keith Lockey and Catherine and Chris Mulholland and safety teams Paul and Sue Austen, and Steve and Jane King.”