Wide blue skies, soft water.

54th Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy

2 Jul 2016, 9 a.m.
3 Jul 2016, 9 a.m.
Ullswater Yacht Club
Open Racing

THIS year it could be you… the 54th Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy at Ullswater Yacht Club is being held over the weekend of July 2 and 3.

The quest for the ‘Holy Grail’ of a Birkett win attracts keen sailors from national champions to novices from all over the country in a huge range of different boats all racing the full length of Ullswater and back on both days. Last year’s Birkett was an all-time record-breaker with a total number of entries of 231 boats.

One of the most spectacular sailing events in the North, the Birkett was rated number eight in the top ‘must do’ sailing regattas by Yachts and Yachting magazine. The unique race was first sailed in 1963 to commemorate the successful defence by Lord Norman Birkett of the right of public access to Ullswater which was threatened with reservoir status.

The Birkett is open to all monohulls with a recognised handicap rating. All boats, from the smallest dinghies to high performance racing machines and cruisers, race from one mass start with the line stretching across the full width of the lake. They race down the lake, a distance of about seven miles, past Kailpot Crag and the plaque to the memory of Lord Birkett, round an island at the southern end, and back. Then they do it all again on Sunday - with both races to count.

A Ullswater ‘Steamer’ trip on the Saturday has now become an established highlight of the Birkett celebrations. On July 2, the Birkett cruise will leave Pooley Bridge pier and follow the racing down to Kailpot Crag where the Lord Birkett memorial plaque is placed and will again have an on-board commentary from members of UYC. Families and friends can follow the racing at close hand on the water and experience some of the excitement. Please book direct with Ullswater Steamers via their website www.ullswater-steamers.co.uk

Competitors are welcome at the club from Friday, July 2, there’ll be food all weekend, evening entertainment on Saturday and the ‘Birkett’ field offers plenty of room for tents and campervans on Friday and Saturday night.