The return to boating for South Windermere Sailing Club has brought a flurry of new interest from people wanting to take up the sport. Already there have been a number of new memberships, along with people wanting taster opportunities and asking about start sailing courses for children.
"We have never had that demand for training before,", said a club spokesperson, explaining that they had to tell them they were not a training centre so could not assist.
A particular increase in general activity has been the formation of an Old Gaffers Fleet (boats not people) with the first regatta being held on Saturday 15 August.
Six traditional sailing boats in the club’s new fleet were able to join the day, and the light to non-existent wind allowed them also to use the oars typical to the boats as they ventured up the lake. After a picnic lunch they set sail back to the club at Fell Foot.
The fleet was accompanied by club members in cruisers and dinghies as well as appropriate safety cover.
The term “Old Gaffers” refers to the distinctive sailing rig of traditional boats, including gaff, lug and spritsail rig. SWSC’s fleet includes Drascombe and Deben Luggers, Cornish Crabber and Cornish Coble, Artic Tern, Sea Otter and several more.
"The Old Gaffers Regatta had been in our diaries for some months, and I know all the fleet members were looking forward to getting together and sailing as a fleet,” said Jeremy Lambert, SWSC Old Gaffer Fleet Captain. “On the day, the turnout was super and we were all able to enjoy a day out on the lake."