Lord Birkett Trophy

July 6th - July 7th 2024 , Ullswater

62nd Lord Birkett at Ullswater.  

Nearly two hundred boats turned out this year. It was a very impressive camping event – with live music, World Cup Football and one of the busiest start lines we have been on. Five boats being K6’s!

The wind was true to the forecast on Saturday; 10 gusting 20 knots blowing down the lake for a good upwind start. This is always the first hurdle with such a vast array of boats on a huge start line.

Two general recalls before the Black Flag kept everyone in order! Then the challenge was finding clear breeze up to the island and a fantastic run back down with the kite up. However it’s never that straight forward between the mountains and side valleys which meant hunting out the best pressure. This lottery meant that places frequently changed and often became a test of patience and nerve (with a little bit of luck). The race takes you 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. The wind filled in even more and the shear length of the course made it fantastic fun sailing the K6.

Sunday brought much lighter winds. However the Birkett gave us everything…sometimes all at the same time. We had at one point, boats all around us, some beating, some trying to run with the kite and some even becalmed. Again a real test of patience.  What ever our final positions were going to be we all knew we were having a great sail in beautiful surroundings.

Ullswater yacht club looked after us brilliantly. Their organisation and help with launching and retrieving was second to none. Takes away the worry in a blow and creates a great atmosphere. To anyone who has not yet experienced this huge race I would say put it in your diary, it’s memorable (and well suited to the K6 – two boats in the top 20!)

Mark Woodings

Full results here

Picture credits Tim Olin