A glassy lake greeted the sailors as they arrived at Ullswater Yacht Club for the final day of racing for the first qualifier in the British Keelboat League. After 16 races yesterday, the teams were raring to get on the water for the final eight races of the weekend.

After a short postponement on the water as the wind filled in, the teams were off. Henry Arnold, 2018 British Keelboat League Champion, and his team found their stride posting three bullets in the light, patchy conditions. “We have done a lot of match racing and team racing in Europe and this is the first time that we have been able to come to such an amazing location in the UK and just turn up and race in such a competitive fleet.” Arnold explained. “As a team, we are completely sold on this concept and can’t wait to get back on the water for the rest of the races this afternoon!”

The breeze built to a steady 8 knots and there were lots of opportunities around the course to make gains. As the gusts puffed down the lake it was key to keep heads out of the boat and be first to the next pressure.

The winners of day one, Ullswater Yacht Club team 2, struggled to find their groove in the lighter breeze of day two. However, they held such a large lead that despite Royal Windemere and Royal Thames best effort, they could not get past in the overall standings. Jono Shelley, skipper explained “what a difference a day makes! The team have been carrying me around the course today. Thankfully we had a really good run yesterday to make up for today.”

The British Keelboat League final will be hosted by the Royal Thames Yacht Club 27th-29th September. “I am so excited to sail in the final with my best mates and my brother. What could be better!”

International Umpire, Ewan McEwan explained “when you win, you win on your skill. That’s the beauty of one design racing.”

Well, what a great start to the British Keelboat League 2019. An awesome series of races for the five teams on Ullswater Lake. Local sailor, Harriet Pulman explained her first experience of League racing, “This is the first time I have raced in the British Keelboat League. The races are so short and snappy. I would highly recommend signing up. It has been great fun, the other teams have been really friendly and it doesn’t matter how experienced you are!”

The next stop for the British Keelboat League is Draycote Water Sailing Club, 25th/26th May. It is not too late to sign up so click here to get your entry in to #rockupandrace! Follow the action on the British Keelboat League Facebook and Instagram.

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