BASSENTHWAITE SAILING CLUB
A Welcome Message from the Commodore 2
Compilers comments 3
Bean’s Banter 4
Jo’s Socials 5
The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Bassenthwaite’s Mirror Fleet 8
Why Italy? 9
Safety Matters 11
The Lake District 12
Foreword to The Bassenthwaite Boating Song 13
Bassenthwaite Boating Song 13
Training with Ant 15
The Bar 15
Barn Owl 16
Come and find us, follow us and like us….. 17
A Welcome Message from the Commodore
As the festive season is now long gone and 2019 is already flying by, I am very much
looking forward to a new season at the sailing club. I need to delve into the loft, find my
sailing bag and remind Bean that he owes me several new pieces of sailing kit!
This season is going to be a very different one for me personally
as, alongside enjoying my sailing and family time at the club, I’ll
be taking on the many challenges that being commodore
My tenure as commodore has already proved challenging with a
very a difficult first week in post. But we are all very fortunate to
be members of such a great club where, in times of adversity,
members rally around and show great strength and support. Not
to mention partaking in a few rum and cokes!
As Commodore my focus over the next two years will be the
promotion of sailing. We have a fabulous site, a very well looked
after club house and a great social scene but ultimately, we are a
sailing club. Sailing is the reason that brought us all to the club, it’s the reason the club has
a well-established reputation nationally and it’s the reason that the club remains
successful. If we lose sight of the importance of getting people sailing, we put the club at
As part of this focus we will be extending the junior sessions that proved popular last year
with the view to getting more of our younger members involved on the water. It’s a cliché
but they are the future of our sport and our club so it’s essential that we nurture and inspire
them into our sport.
We have an ever-growing fleet of Mirrors and, adding to this a resurgence in Optimists and
an increase in Tera’s – we could have a very active junior section on the water in 2019. I
am very much looking forward to seeing the youngsters of the club progress through the
early stages of sailing and then, hopefully, on to racing.
I hope to venture out and partake in more of the club races this season, either in the front
end of a 200 or at the back of a Mirror. Oliver seems keen to sail with Mummy at the
moment, but I suspect once his Smith competitive gene kicks in Daddy will be the helm of
Apologies to those of you who frequent the Thursday evening series as you are unlikely to
see me at the club. Living in Newcastle restricts us to weekend visits only. I’m sure some
folk will think that a blessing!
The sailing programme sees a variety of events for the club this year with us being host to
the Mirror National Inland Championships in July and the GP14 Masters, Youth and Junior
Championships in September. We are very fortunate to have secured The Lakes Distillery
as our lead sponsor for Bass Week again this year, so we look forward to another great
event under the leadership of Jonathon Denwood.
We have planned a “Meet and Greet” session for Saturday 30 th March. This is an informal
event where members old and new can come along for a drink, some nibbles and a chat
about the forthcoming season. So please join us in the clubhouse from 3pm.
That’s it from me for now. I look forward to seeing everyone at the club and out on the
water over the coming season. Let’s hope for sunshine and southerly’s!
Not as many contributions as last year. But, as that was a record number, perhaps it is to
be expected. As usual, those we have are of the highest quality and will make good
reading and viewing. So, thanks to you all.
Also, thanks to Robin for helping to get the finished product out to you all and also onto the
Can I remind you that the nineteen editions of Foxy Tales covering seventeen years and
going back to 1992 are on our website under the Membership tab? And, just maybe, we
will convert and add more hard copy from previous years in due course?
Thanks to William for handling this.
Following a Christmas period of writing a sailing programme and looking ahead to a
season in the back end of a Mirror, it all started to feel like I’d gone back in time 20 years
to the 90s. This has been compounded by the fact Man United are good at football again
(for how long who knows). I did however check with my mum and the chocolate biscuit tin
is full, so Currie can’t have been involved this time around, and the 18-month-old whirlwind
child destroying the house behind me confirms times have definitely changed. I’ll try to
keep this brief and to the point.
The season kicks off with the starters prize on Sunday 31 st March and with the mild
weather from February guaranteed to continue there’s no excuse for not getting your boat
prepared, the sailing kit out of the loft, and onto the start line for 11:30.
The club sailing programme follows a similar format to previous years with a few minor
tweaks here and there. Thanks to Joe Roberts for lining up most of the Opens and events
for 2019 prior to handing over the reins, and for doing a great job over the past few years.
Most associations are already pencilling in dates for events in 2020 and despite 40 days
seeming like a significant number of camping days available to us, by the time we factor in
Bass Week and the bank holidays it really isn’t that many to play with. Personally, I find it
disappointing that we are restricted as a sailing club in this way compared to others, as the
2020 Open meeting calendar is pretty much full, prior to anything different to the norm. Our
site and facilities are one of our greatest assets in being able to attract and host large
competitive events and, given our relative proximity to large sailing populations, the
overnight camping option helps massively.
On to the sailing and the first event we are hosting is in April with the GNAC which
continues to be a well supported and competitive event. This is followed in May with the
visit of the Catapults to join us alongside club sailing for the 1 st bank holiday and Push the
Boat Out during the 2 nd bank holiday.
In early June we have a one-day Laser/Solo/Streaker open and the North West Junior
Travellers Trophy towards the end of the month. I was delighted to see the improvement
and growth in the Junior sailors in the club last year and hope to see as many of them as
possible competing again this year -perhaps the NWJTT would be a good target for those
looking to enter their 1 st open meeting.
I won’t go on about Junior sailing as most people know my views - I’m not in the back of
the Mirror for the thrills and spills of the high-performance blunt instrument with red sails. I
no longer need to endorse the virtues of the Mirror – catch up with Ian Preston in the bar
and he’ll tell you what a great boat it is. I hope to see as many Mirrors as possible on the
water in July for the National Inland Championships.
The Tinkers are joining us again in early September and then, later in the month, we have
a combined GP14 Youth & Masters Championship alongside our FF Open. Both are sure
to be quality and competitive sailing events.
Away from Bassenthwaite I’m sure we’ll have the regulars travelling and representing our
club, hopefully with the success we have seen in the past. It is through competing away
from the club that we help to attract new and old people to our club and events, and
ultimately improve the standard of racing across the board.
Whether your sailing at the club or away on your travels, I hope you have a great sailing
season. See you on the water. Phil Smith – Sailing Secretary
*April 13- 14th
*April 20th - 22nd
*June 29- 30th
Racing begins (Starter’s Prize)
Great North Asymmetric Challenge
Easter Bank Holiday
May Bank Holiday
Spring Bank Holiday
Laser / Solo / Streaker Open
Mirror Inland Championships
The One Bass Week
August Bank Holiday
GP14 Masters, Y&J / FF Open
Flying Fifteen team racing
* denotes camping weekends
I’d like to start by saying a huge thank you to every one that helped out and supported me
last season in the new role as Social Secretary. Despite a few technical difficulties, I think
that the social season 2018 went quite
smoothly and, it appears to have been well
The 2019 social season is now underway and
started with a wonderful winter walk up Barrow
on 24.02.19. 48 members made it to the top,
including my gorgeous 3 year old son Theo,
who managed to walk the entire way up in his
wellies! I couldn’t be a prouder mommy
The descent was made all the easier by knowing we had lunch at clubhouse waiting for us.
Over 60 members tucked into a glorious fish & chip feast which was rounded off beautifully
by the marvellous weather. Next year’s winter walk is set for 23.02.2020.
As for the forthcoming year, the social committee have prepared a variety of events that
we hope will provide a little something for everyone.
Coming up, we have an Old ‘skool’ games night, Easter activities and, after the success of
last year’s Race Night, another one is planned for Sunday 5th May. The ‘Bank of
Bassenthwaite’ will be printing some new dollars soon!
Plans are also underway for an amazing BASS Week so, watch this space! Wishing you
all a wonderful year both on and off the water.
Jo & the Social Committee.
Social Programme 2019 / 20
Saturday 30th March 2019
Saturday 13th April 2019
Saturday 20th April 2019
Sunday 21st April 2019
Saturday 4th May 2019
Sunday 5th May 2019
Saturday 25th May 2019
Saturday 26th May 18
Saturday 13th July 2019
Meet & Greet- welcome event for our newer
The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Bassenthwaite’s Mirror
In my role of Press & PR officer at Bass I have been collecting the Newsletters from years
gone by. We started out producing an annual publication in 1995 and gave it the title of
Foxy Tales. This came from the Club’s fox emblem which, in turn, stemmed from the Club
being in the close vicinity of the birthplace of the legendary fox hunter John Peel.
Anyway, the aim is to get all the annual editions on line on the Bassenthwaite Sailing Club
website. There will then be a permanent ongoing record of who did what at the Club both
on, and off the water.
Virtually every edition contained an article on each of the Club’s dedicated fleets which, for
many years have included the Mirrors. So, using these articles, and the data in the Club
Handbook, it was possible to trace the fortunes of the Fleet.
In the mid to late nineties the Mirror Fleet consisted of over twenty boats. One even won
the Nationals, Phil & Tim Smith taking the title at Hartlepool in 1999. We never reached
such dizzying heights again although we had an active Fleet of up to fourteen boats during
the ten years from 2000 to 2009. By the later date there had been a progressive switch
from family manned, and crewed boats to single handers.
The Club then invested in three good Trident GRP boats for training and to encourage
families to race in the Mirror Fleet. But interest was declining in favour of the myriad RS
variants. By 2013 we only had seven boats in the fleet in addition to the ones owned by
the Club and, as few were racing at the same time, it was decided to merge the Mirror and
Topper Fleets the following year. This left a variety of slower boats such as the Picos plus
a Hartley, and a Splash following far behind the other Handicap Fleet boats. So a new
Slow Handicap Fleet emerged in 2016 consisting of all boats with a PY of 1250 or greater.
This new Fleet is still with us but, by the end of the 2017 season it included seventeen
Mirrors! The turnaround is due to more, and more, parents deciding to use the Mirror to
teach their youngsters to sail and race. And these aren’t any old Mirrors! Many are
Winder GRPs with sail numbers well above 70000.
And we, again, have national champions in the Fleet with Sandy & Douglas Simpson
having joined Bass last year. Even they are finding the Club competition extremely
The attached photo is of the Mirror sailors at Bass Week 2018 many, but not all, being
[Above was first published on the Mirror Class Association website during 2018]
We’ve been going to Italy for almost 40 years now and many people ask us why? Why
Italy, why not France or Spain?
Our first family holiday to Italy was in 1980, a year after the Fastnet Disaster when 15
sailors lost their lives sailing in a storm off the Cornish coast. We were on the south west
coast of Cornwall at the time and for us the storm was the straw that broke the camel’s
back as far as annual holidaying in the UK was concerned. We’d suffered the vagaries of
UK summers too often in previous years so we made the decision to leave our caravan at
home in future and travel as far from the UK as we reasonably could for our two week
annual holidays. I found a company in Norfolk who arranged camping pitches abroad and,
having scanned their brochure, we opted for a site between Venice and Trieste on the
north Adriatic coast on the basis that it was the furthest site from the UK weather. It’s the
same place that our boat and caravan resides permanently today.
Our first holiday in Bibione was a revelation. The sun shone for two weeks solid (apart
from the odd thunderstorm that lasted about 30 minutes but is the norm in that area in
August) but it wasn’t just the weather that attracted us.
We’d taken a very small frame tent and our pitch was about 50 metres from one of the
best beaches along the Adriatic coast. In those days there were no permanent caravans or
cabins on the site and most people camped in tents. There were few fridges (we used to
dig a hole in the sandy ground at the side of our tent to keep our food cool). The Italian
people are a laid back race. Few activities are undertaken at speed (apart from driving and
power boating!) and they’re extremely friendly and welcoming. They love children and
cater for them big time. Italian food and wine is revered around the world even though their
recipes are relatively simple, it’s the freshness of the ingredients that has a lot to do with it.
We continued to take a tent to Camping Capalonga for the next few years until the site
started offering caravan accommodation and later cabins on the site, some on the beach,
some overlooking the lagoon that’s on the opposite side to the beach, some inside the site
that are more shaded from the sun. When our girls were older and it was just the two of us
on holiday we had more time to tow our caravan to the site, stopping off in France,
Germany Austria or Switzerland on route.
When Ryan Air started offering cheap flights to Italy we decided to buy a second caravan
and leave it at the site permanently. We also took a boat to leave on-site and as time
progressed our boats got bigger. We could leave home in the morning and be drinking
wine outside the caravan in the evening but something was missing. We missed the drive
down, stopping at places of interest on the way or on the return journey. It’s a long way
home to home (1400 miles each way by the shortest route) but the rewards of having a
mini holiday at each end of our stay in Italy are so much better than flying.
So – why Italy? For us it’s the climate and the ability to eat 3 meals a day alfresco. We
love the facilities in Camping Capalonga which caters for youngsters and those of us who
are not so young. We cycle along the beach cycle paths to the market and buy fresh food
everyday. We visit inland restaurants along the hundreds of miles of rivers and lagoons in
our boat, or venture across the sea to Venice or Trieste (I’ve yet to persuade Pauline to
sail that little bit further to Croatia for a few days). We love our neighbours, many of whom
have been coming to the site almost as long as us, and after almost 40 years my
command of the Italian language is improving!
This has been my first year in the role of safety chair and fortunately it’s been pretty
uneventful. Although the detail below suggests that I spent more time on issues off the
water, this is not actually true and I didn’t appreciate how much work is needed to get
rescue boat drivers organised. Emily has spent many an hour contacting rescue drivers
and making sure that it all runs smoothly. So what has happened this year?
Off the water the kids slide cracked at the top forming a nice sharp length of metal nicely
positioned to get children’s bottoms. This didn’t stop William from wanting to use the slide
so something needed to be done. Fortunately Toggle thought to cover it with artificial grass
which has made the slide even better as it has a comfortable entrance for the kids.
The foot-pedal of the capstan was becoming increasingly sticky so it no longer released
when a foot was removed. Rory and Dave saw to it that the pedal was replaced and the
electrics improved so that it times-out reducing the opportunity for little hands to play with
the fun spinning toy.
Other minor activity in the safety department includes the condemnation of several
barbeques, broken toys (I’m personally looking forward to condemning that pink ride on toy
that stops Evie from riding her bike because she loves to whizz down the hill on it even
though it is far too small and slow for her) and other artefacts.
People have been prevented from parking at the bottom of the downhill section of the
racetrack by some colourful flowers planted in tyres.
The club now has its very own zebra crossing which appeared before The One
Bassenthwaite Lake Sailing Week. This was put there as part of the entertainment for the
visitors as it allowed them to do this:
On the water there have been numerous
capsizes, incidences of man overboard
(including one during a race in which the helm
jumped in after an argument with his crew),
snapped halyards, at least one helm getting
trapped in his kicker after capsizing and minor
collisions (usually involving an RS Tera) but
fortunately no serious incidents.
We welcomed and trained four new rescue
drivers, Alex, Emily, Tristan and Sam, who
quickly immersed themselves in the ways of the
Club and proved to be very committed, reliable and fast learners. Three of them will be
joining Chez and James in returning for the coming season; Sam is unable to come back
due to other commitments. In addition we will be training two more drivers as part of our
future planning strategy (Alex, Emily and Tristan may need to leave in September as they
move on to university or into a career).
People do need to be aware, however, that most of our rescue drivers are not themselves
sailors. They have Power Boat 2 and First Aid qualifications. They are there to keep you
safe and rescue you should you need it. They are not always able to rescue your boat and
this is your responsibility. Naturally, they will help as much as they can and are always
eager to do whatever they can.
Here’s to another safe season. Paul Clark
The Lake District
The sun sent down its rays of light
As the mountain quickly came to life
Smothered with leaves and thickets of trees
As the birds sang their sweet melodies.
Beyond the hills, the grass that lay
As green as emeralds in the middle of May
Had huddles of trees, their branches thick
And easy to climb as they didn’t snap like a stick.
A great oak tree stood in the centre
With a diameter of at least a meter
And branches that were strong and supportive
Enough to hold the kids who climbed upon it.
On the ground, a path of stones led
Away from the tree
That was probably dead
To a peaceful beach, sandy and gold
At the edge of a lake that was centuries old.
The calm waves rippled upon it
As at night, they were moonlit
The inky blackness coated the surface
As the dark trees towered over the place.
When the sun rises at the crack of dawn
The water is as crisp as a freshly mown lawn
As the surface holds a perfect reflection
Of the snow tipped mountain in the other direction.
Hannah Preston Aged 13, 2018
Foreword to The Bassenthwaite Boating Song
The family were all delighted that Hannah’s poem The Lake District’ was published in the
2018 edition of ‘The Poetry Games’. A book of poems highlighting the work of young
writers in Lancashire.
Hannah’s poem prompted me to search for a copy of a poem/song written by Hannah’s
Great, Great Grandmother [Graham’s maternal Grandmother] many, many years ago. We
believe the song was written in either 1960 or 61 when Grandma Green would have been
in her late seventies. She and Grandpa visited the club with Graham’s parents in the late
1950’s. I’m afraid no one in the family can recall what tune the words were set to.
‘Greensleeves’ isn’t right but it would have been a similar tune of that ilk.
Some of the language is rather archaic but the content is still nevertheless relevant to the
sailing club as we know it. I like her reference to the rescue boats standing by as
guardians and also that people travelled from far and near to compete at Bass Week. I
think her use of the ‘Welkin Ring’ in the chorus is particularly apt as research has indicated
that the meaning is ‘making a very loud, reverberating sound with music or singing’ and
‘raising the roof to the heavens with exuberant noise’ Sounds like a good Bass Week disco
to me. Nothing changes!!
Bassenthwaite Boating Song
It nestles neath the mountain slope
All calm and sweet, and droll.
Tis Bassenthwaite, where yachtsmen hope
Their trophy to enrol.
From Eastertide the dinghies sail,
And many a hard race won,
The conquering hero’s give a hail,
For them the day is done.
In August tis Regatta Week,
When folk from far and near
Display their prowess at its peak
With many a slip I fear.
Full well the rescue launch stands by,
A guardian to the last,
To tow the victims back to land
Mid many an angry “blast”.
And then to wend eventful week,
A dance to end display.
All gathered in a friendly wake
Top gowned in glad array.
So drink up, give a right good toast
To guests from far and near,
And hope to meet again to boast
Another Cup Tie year.
Tis Bassenthwaite, tis Bassenthwaite,
Let all rise up and sing,
Of dinghies sailing up the straight
Let’s make the welkin ring.
Caroline Telford Green
Training with Ant
Where did the time go? It feels like it was yesterday that I was peeling off the gold
eyelashes and shimmying out of the frock, but that was last year. This time I'm trying to
wash the black dye out of my hair (playing the baddie not the dame this time – Nigel Lewis
looked very fetching in the dress). So, it can only mean one thing, panto time is over and
the sailing season is about to start!
Building on the successful training of last year, Neil Garrison and I plan to offer training for
the advanced modules (Seamanship Skills, Sailing with Spinnakers, Start to Race), this
would be informal and concentrated on improving skills rather than obtaining a certificate.
We are planning to do this on Saturday mornings so the new-found skills can be employed
in the afternoon races with tips on tuning for the conditions and post-race debrief if
desired. Anyone interested should contact me and I will sort out dates.
In addition, we will be starting “sailing for novices” in May with courses for adults and
juniors, according to the RYA syllabus. Again, let me know if this interests you or your
relatives or friends.
The Club has spent nearly £2000 on repairs and replacements for the club boats, so all
boats should be in full working condition for the season start. Can I ask anyone who uses
a club boat to report any damaged or missing equipment so that prompt repair/
replacement can take place, to keep the boats in good condition. There is a white board on
the inside of the training container door for recording damage but, if this is not available,
then the book on the bar used for recording the booking of club boats can also be used to
Hello everyone! No change this year behind the Bar - except perhaps my hair colour.
However, this is my last year, so if anyone fancies having a go at running the Bar please
come and have a chat with me and I’ll do my best to lie and coerce you into taking it on.
The bar can be really good fun and you do get to know everyone. Our relationship with
our suppliers ‘Grapevine’ makes everything fairly easy as they are very helpful. The
instalment of a card machine has also made things a lot easier with no bar tabs to keep
So please don’t be shy. The club needs you, I need you, and being on Council you get
your chance to have your say on matters, not to mention all the gossip.
GOOD HOME WANTED – CLASSIC DINGHY FREE OF CHARGE
Barn Owl is a classic 13ft dinghy built in the late 1940’s in a little hamlet very near the club.
It was sailed often on the lake in the summer months and, together with a GP14 became
the first two boats in the club when it was formed in 1952.
Because of its association with the club in the early 90’s it was given to the club and for
years was stored in the boat house. Now, with an increase in rescue boats storage of has
become a problem and, with the passage of time, a new home is wanted.
Barn Owl is substantially sound and is complete with good wooded boom, mast, rudder
and paddles. She is basically sound, but her decks need varnishing and her hull needs a
coat of paint. She is a very pretty boat. Unfortunately, the original cotton sails have
disintegrated but remnants are available to give an idea of sizes.
If a club member would like to take her on or knows of someone not in the club who might,
she is available free of charge.
If interested, please contact Graham Kirkpatrick on 01900 817491, 07835 445348, or
when at the club.
Come and find us, follow us and like us…..
Check out our website: http://www.bassenthwaite-sc.org.uk