Caroline & John “Beat the Birkett Clock”

Caroline & John “Beat the Birkett Clock”
The Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy Race Weekend at Ullswater proved to be the ultimate 2 days of frustating sailing in the ultra-light and shifty conditions.
Jeremy Cooper, Caroline Hollier, Bryan Westley, Jason Gallagher, Stephen Hodgson, Lee Bratley and John Butler were the unfortunates that ventured up to the Lake District to compete in the 230 strong mixed handicap fleet (eventually won by a “bandit” brand new National 18 sailed off an “old” handicap.
According to Lee Bratley, he sailed over 17 miles on the Saturday, to finish 15 minutes outside the 6 hour time limit…

At the front it was Caroline who led the way on the Saturday, along with Jeremy & Jason. They rounded the far island well ahead of Lee and John, but that was when John split from the rest of the fleet and headed to the north side of the lake, found his own private breeze, and the rest sat becalmed and helpless as he surged to the front and was the first Lightning home in 77th followed by Caroline in 81st and Jason in 87th. All the others failed to make the time limit….

Only Caroline & John went out for more in even lighter winds on the Sunday. Caroline was over half a mile ahead at one stage, but John repeated his north side tactic and again took the lead…. Caroline eventually overhauled John in the last 200 yards after a tacking and covering duel to finish.

Overall John was 56th, Caroline 58th overall, but Caroline won the Fleet Prize on countback with the last race being the decider.