YOUNGEST CHAMP: Toby Waggett with the Grassholme Cup
YOUNGEST CHAMP: Toby Waggett with the Grassholme Cup

THIS year with low water levels at Grassholme Reservoir, and Covid-19 restrictions it has been difficult to keep the idea of sailing in Teesdale alive – yet despite a decidedly unhelpful weather forecast a small, but determined, company of sailors turned up to compete for the Grassholme Cup.
The cup was originally presented to Teesdale Sailing Club by Northumbrian Water back in 1986 when work on Selset Reservoir necessitated that the club decamp from Selset, which was the club’s base at the time, to Grassholme.
It was hoped that the cup would stimulate interest in sailing at a difficult time for the club.
Since that first competition the Grassholme Cup has become the premier competition of the club’s year, so it is fitting that a competition was held this year under even more difficult times for the club.
It was also fitting that this year’s winner should be one of the youngsters who represent the future of the club.
Ten-year-old Toby Waggett, from Eggleston, recorded a clean sweep of four victories out of four races to deny all the older, more experienced sailors any chance of victory.
Two of those elders taught him to sail during one of the club’s F3 sessions.
Just last summer Toby achieved his Royal Yachting Association junior stage 1 to 3 certificates, and now he is beating his teachers. It is the first time Toby has won the Grassholme Cup and he is the youngest ever winner.
Also worthy of mention was Ian Yeowart, from Staindrop, who also started sailing recently and has steadily and surely improved as a sailor.
Electing to sail a club boat with a race sail, he was very fast indeed, and recorded three second places – including a ‘quick’ capsize – and finished second overall.
So at the end of the day we had a new winner of the Grassholme Cup.
Toby will be back next year attempting to win it again. If he continues to improve at this rate it will get increasingly difficult to wrest it away from him.
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Next year, with our water level restored, and hopefully Covid-19 under control, we hope to be able to offer a number of opportunities for young and old to get on the water.
Richard Hewitt