Sailors to descend upon lake for yacht race's diamond anniversary event

·2-min read
Birkett Cup at Ullswater
Birkett Cup at Ullswater

SAILORS from across the country will descend upon Ullswater next month for a yacht race.

The 60th annual Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy Yacht Race is held to commemorate Lord William Norman Birkett, known as the great advocate of the lakes.

The Ullswater Yacht Club (UYC) is planning diamond celebrations for this action-packed event.

Taking place over the weekend of July 2 and 3, more than 200 different types of sailing boats will kick off each day with a dramatic mass start at 1pm before racing the full length of Ullswater and back, as they battle it out to take home the Birkett silver trophy.

The three-hour exclusive charter leaves Pooley Bridge Pier at 12pm on Saturday, July 2, and includes an up-close viewing of the mass start where guests can experience all of the on-water excitement, plus on-board commentary from members of the UYC as the cruise follows the dramatic race down the lake.

Rachel Bell, head of marketing for Ullswater Steamers, said: "The Birkett Trophy up is the biggest event of its kind in the north of England, and this cruise offers unparalleled viewing of the race.

READ MORE: Talk on history of Ullswater's iconic steamers

"A great day out for families and friends, there is no better spot to get a slice of the action than from on the water, as you watch boats of all sizes and skills battle it out.”

A spokesperson from Cumbria Tourism said: “Visitors to Ullswater owe a huge debt of gratitude to Lord Birkett, who was born in the town in 1883.

“A devoted Cumbrian, it was his role in the House of Lords which helped save the stunning Ullswater for future generations, after the Manchester Corporations Waterworks Department promoted a parliamentary bill to turn it into a reservoir.

“This year marks the 60th anniversary of his heartfelt speech in the House of Lords which condemned the bill and secured public access to the stunning waters of Ullswater to this day.

“Sadly, Lord Birkett died two days after his speech, and to commemorate him and his success, the first Cope Trophy Race was sailed in 1963, soon becoming one of the biggest sailing events in the UK.

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