Lord Birkett Trophy - Ullswater 4th/5th July

1/ Lester Noble / Lee Noble Ullswater YC (49er) 2 Points
2/  Richard Stenhouse, Rutland SC (Musto Skiff), 8 points
3/  Ian Trotter/ Kevin Anderson, Derwent Reservoir SC (Int 14), 11 points
4/  Jon Modral / Alistair Coates, Cardiff SC (Tempest), 15 points
5/  Mike Adams / Paul Adams, Ullswater YC (Tempest), 17 points
Other Tempests
24/  John Turley / John Wilson-Smith UYC
31/  John Robinson / LindsayWhitehead UYC
63/  Craig Robinson / Neil Robinson UYC
78/  Mike Egan / Keith McDermott UYC
171/  David Simpson / Peter Morgan UYC
Record-breaking Birkett
THE North’s most popular long distance race, the Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy at Ullswater Yacht Club on July 4 and 5, was a real record-breaker.
The number of entries, 217 was the highest ever and winners Lester and Lee Noble in a 49er won for a record fifth time.
Entries for the event rated at number eight in the top 50 ‘must do’ sailing regattas by Yachts and Yachting magazine have topped the 200 mark for the last few years but this year even surpassed the 2008 record of 213.
‘Masters of the Birkett’, the Noble brothers, of Ullswater Yacht Club, won in convincing style, crossing the line first on both days and taking two firsts on handicap.
Every year the race for the highly-prized Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy attracts keen sailors from national champions to novices from across the country in a huge range of different boats all racing the full length of Ullswater and back on both days.
Some are seeking the ‘Holy Grail’ of a Birkett win, others are simply happy to be part of the unforgettable experience of sailing with more than 200 boats in one of the most beautiful parts of the Lakes.
The unique race was established in 1963 to commemorate the successful defence by Lord Birkett of the right of public access to Ullswater which was threatened with reservoir status in the early 1960s.
A new attraction for 2009 was a spectacular Thames A rater from Thames SC – 27ft long and with a 46ft mast that dwarfed everything else on the lake. It made a stunning sight against the backdrop of the Lakeland hills.
The Birkett is open to all monohulls with a recognised handicap rating and organisers were delighted with the record turnout.
To give them the true ‘Birkett experience’, race officer David Lyons set a course on Saturday to the furthest island, Cherry Holm, despite the light South-westerly winds.
With the start line right across the ¾ mile wide lake, the fleet got away at the first attempt and the Noble’s 49er soon took the lead on the giant windward leeward course and left everything in their wake to win convincingly.
Sunday’s course was shorter - just a seven mile beat to the first island, Norfolk Island, and a spinnaker leg back - in fresher winds and bright sunshine.
Competitors were not so well behaved and after a couple of recalls the black flag came out and the race started at the third attempt.
The high performance boats were closer together this time but still the Noble brothers made picking their way through the shifts look easy and clinched another first place to win overall.
The weekend was a huge success, thanks to the hundreds of competitors and their friends and family who turned up and the untiring volunteer efforts of Ullswater Yacht Club members.
Sue Giles