Number 219 / May 2010

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Published by the Open Canoe Sailing Group

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unnecessary disruption. Although his resignation was effective immediately, he will still be involved in updating the website and will lead the expedition meet in the autumn. DaveS volunteered to be co-opted for the remainder of the year. I would personally like to thank Steve for the enormous amount of work he has put in over many years and also to thank Dave for volunteering to take his place.


So What's So Good About Ullswater? (KeithM)

Some members may have noticed that there are three meets at Ullswater on our calendar this year and wondered why, when there are other good venues we have used in the past that are not so far away. The reason is that of specific events, one of which is a one-off for this year.

Our regular and popular mid-July meet at Ullswater Yacht Club continues as ever, even though the site was badly affected in the November floods of last year. There are temporary buildings in place while redevelopment takes place.

Also at the yacht club, but just one weekend earlier, is the Birkett Trophy weekend. This is an amazing event that I entered last year to try it out for sailing canoes. It was established in 1963 and commemorates how Lord Birkett was instrumental in the successful defence of the right of public access to Ullswater, which was threatened with reservoir status in the early 1960s. Yachts and Yachting magazine rated it No 8 in the top 50 'must do' sailing regattas. It is a mass-participation racing weekend for all types of monohull sailing craft with a wide variety of dinghies and yachts taking part. There is a race on each of the days, each covering the length of the lake and attracts over 200 entries with the mass start line stretching across the whole width of the lake. Ann and I enjoyed the spectacle of the races but we were amongst the slowest boats, actually finishing last (172nd!) on the second day - which was marked with hooters and fireworks as we crossed the line! But after correction for handicap we placed 156th overall out of 218 starters. Entries in advance are strongly advised and camping is available. More details and an entry form are available on the UYC website. If you enter I suggest you use 1300 as a Portsmouth number - with at least six entries we get our own class category.

The weekend in September (11th-12th) is to take advantage of an event being organised at the Waterside Farm campsite by members of the online forum 'Song of the Paddle' - for canoeists. It's a good chance for lots (could be 100+) of paddlers to see what we do, what our boats/rigs are like and how well they perform. It should be interesting for us to see what some other canoeists do, too. Our usual format of some cruising and maybe a race will apply. More details later.

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