It was awarded to Karen Smith, who lives near Brampton and won the award for the way she has improved in her Laser Radial over the year. The trophy features a brass anchor and was donated by Julie Archer.

“We have had lots of heavy weather and Karen has always been out there sailing and enjoying herself when it has been wet and windy. She has really pushed her own boundaries and we are all very proud of her,” said experienced sailor Anne Noble, of Brougham, near Penrith, who organises the sessions with fellow instructor Julie Archer.

Throughout 2016, a total of 20 members of all ages have taken part in eight Saturday morning sessions aimed at getting women on the water with no pressure and no formal instruction.“

The idea behind the sessions is to offer something for the ladies in the club who have spent years supporting partners and children who enjoy sailing. Now it’s their turn,” explained Anne. “We don’t teach, that is done by our Sailing School, but we are there to give friendly support and encouragement.”

Some ladies own their own boats but those who don’t are able to use the range of boats, both single and multi-handed, owned by Ullswater Sailing School which is based at the club. Anne said she was delighted with the turnout for Ladies Who Launch which has been held for the past four years and also pleased at the way the ‘new’ sailors go on to take part in the special novice races that are held later on a Saturday.

The Ladies Who Launch group is proud to be part of Active Cumbria’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign which was set up by Sport England to encourage women to take part in sports activities. And the group has been so successful that similar men-only sessions, Blokes In a Boat, run by instructors Steve Potter and Rick Boyce, has been set up.

Ladies Who Launch and Blokes in a Boat are looking forward to their next season on and off the water with eight sessions planned for 2017.

Ullswater Yacht Club welcomes new members of all ages and levels of experience and offers a range of sailing courses through the Ullswater Sailing School. For more details visit ullswateryachtclub.org