Local Sports

Power Boat Racing In The Lake District

Power Boat Racing has been around for many years in the Lake District and has seen many famous people involved in the sport. For example many years ago a Mr Donald Cambell broke the Water World Speed Record on Coniston Water by being the fastest person ever to travel on water.Sadly on his return back up the Lake Donald Cambell died when he hit his own waves and at a huge speed flipped his boat called '' Bluebird '' over in mid-air and hit the water with a huge impact killing him instantly.
But since that terrible accident Power Boat Racing has come on in leaps and strides with boats getting faster and faster, but still Donald Cambells' World Record has not yet been broken.
On Lake Windermere there is a Power Boat Racing Club in which every fortnight the Club has a Race Day in which around 12 boats race against each other to get the most points to win the racing season.These Race Days are on Sundays and there are 4 races every Race Day.
Last year there was also a Racing Season in which Junior competitors raced and i myself raced with around 6 other competitors.Since then the Junior Season has stopped being held due to a lack of competitors.But the adult Racing Season is still going strong.
So now you know a little bit about Power Boat Racing in the Lake District.


Here in the Lake District, we have a lot of water, and what better way to use it than to sail on it? Lake Windermere has two yacht clubs, one in the south of the lake and one in the north, along with a number of other boat clubs. I am a member of the Royal Windermere Yacht club where we race many different types of yacht,
I sail a G.P. 14 (so called because they are 14 foot long, the G.P. stands for general purpose, you can row it as well). I crew one of these boats with my Dad or my brother on a Thursday night and a Sunday afternoon. As well as the G.P.s there are Lazers (a one man, one sail, boat) and Flying 15s. We have in the club, the world champion at Flying Fifteens racing, he won the World Championship in Hong Kong with his friend from the South Lake Club.
Our club is also world famous for our very own class of boat, only raced here. The 17 foot Royal Windermere boats are made locally and raced only on a weekend. These boats are different to others as you sit low down in the boat and they are quite comfortable, unlike the other yachts where you are higher up and are constantly having to jump around to balance the boat.
In a G.P. there are two sailors, a helm and a crew. The helm is in control of the main sail and the rudder, for steering, the helm is also the boss. The crew (that's what I am) has to manage the genoa (the small sail) the spinnaker (another sail put up to help you when the wind is behind you) and is responsible for keeping the boat balanced.
There is one more boat sailed at the club, the Mirrors. The Mirrors are like the G.Ps only much smaller and are sailed by children. They are sailed on a Saturday by people who don't feel up to G.P. racing and every Summer there is a Mirror fun week. This is for anyone who can fit in a mirror and we have a great time racing and playing games in the boats.
Do you sail? If so, what do you sail, and where? I'd especially love to hear from yachting enthusiasts in other countries.
David Shingler


Hound trailing is a traditional Cumbrian sport, but it has recently spread to Southern Ireland and Yorkshire. Hound trailing is a competitive sport, as you race hound dogs.
Hound trailing would not take place without `trailers`, men or women who drag a rag (normally old blankets sown together and dragged by a rope). The rag is soaked in a mixture of aniseed and paraffin, which the dogs are trained to smell and recognise when they are young. The trailers then walk round the fells until they reach the point where the trail ends. One end is called the slip and the other is called the finish. The dogs are then slipped at one end and caught at the other.
There are different grades of trails for different dogs. The three main trails are;

Before the dogs can run, they have to be entered.All dogs have two names, a kennel name and a running name. I have three dogs, their names are, Timmy-Justinian, Scott-Nero and Tim-Caligula. The longest names are their running names, these are the names that have to be entered. Once your dogs are entered you wait for the slip.All different grades have different times of slips. At the slip, the dogs are lined up and held by their owners in a long line, facing the trailer. A person then marks them, either on the top of their head or on their shoulder. This is to help us tell what trail they are in. The dogs then wait until the flag is waved, then the dogs are let go.
The trails take different lengths of time, as there are two distances. The old dogs run the longest trail, normally ten miles, which they run in about twentyfive to thirty minutes. The shorter trail is about five miles, which they run in fifteen to twenty minutes.
The dogs race for tickets. The first six dogs get tickets (money). They all fight for the championship. An old dog championship and a puppy one. These are won by winning the most trails.
By Melanie Laidler.

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