Grassholme Cup 28-29th August 2021
Published 21:13 on 30 Aug 2021
The club has had a difficult two years with low water levels and Covid-19, but the Bank Holiday weekend saw the club at it's best and resurgent once again. The Grassholme Cup saw a total of 25 competing boats with one race having 20 crews contesting the places. It was also the first time in a number of years that the event was spread over two days: with two races scheduled for the Saturday and then three on the Sunday. In addition to the racing there were also some boats out cruising, visiting canoeists, and stand up paddle boarders from Wilderness Outdoor. The sun came along on the first day and even the somewhat duller conditions on the second did not spoil the fun which concluded with an excellent BBQ.
The club opened up early on Saturday morning for members to get out on the water and practice their techniques and skills. Dave T and Paul B were quick to take up the chance, whilst Wilderness Outdoor were enjoying the very light wind conditions on their SUPs. As the morning progressed the wind filled in and suddenly just before the first race of the afternoon competitors arrived in numbers and suddenly the start was full of boats. Fortunately the start line had been widened recently so apart from the rustiness of a few competitors the first race got off cleanly.
On day one the wind was light and flukey and set the competitors an interesting challenge. Reading the shifts and puffs could result in huge gains, not reading them could equally lead to large losses. As the wind died race two had to be abandoned. The second day had a much more consistent breeze and whilst less interesting it kept the boats moving at a brisk pace.
Competitive racing was to be seen across the fleet, with the Lasers in particular having a battle royal at the front and the Optimists and Oppies contesting the tail. In the middle a mix of boats battled to establish supremacy. The large number of boats ensured that crews had to think carefully about the rules when approaching marks and there were many shouts of 'starboard' and 'water'.
There was a good number of juniors out on the water, all of whom have come through the club's 'On Board Club'. As well as the Grassholme Cup itself they were competing for the 'Regatta' prize and the 'Skylark Cup' for the best junior donated by James H. The other end of the age range was not forgotten and Richard H donated the 'Lunedale Trophy' for the over 50s.
In the final reckoning Toby W won the overall prize and the Skylark Cup, with Peter Wilcox taking the Lunedale Trophy. Sophie M won the Regatta prize.
Covid-19 regulations mean that it is two years since the club has had a social event so the barbecue at the end was a welcome return to more normal times, which together with the racing everyone seemed to enjoy.
Thanks go to those people who made the event work; the race officer of the day, the safety boat crews, the BBQ chef, and others who helped in any way.
Last updated 20:38 on 2 October 2021