Report by Richard Ennos
The first Scottish District IOM Travellers event of 2015 was a truly international affair with two competitors from Northern Ireland and two from England joining the fleet of fifteen skippers gathered from a total of eight Scottish clubs. Having raced in strong winds over most of the winter, number one rigs were now taken out of the box for what was to prove a day of light airs sailing.
Racing took place in a two fleet format and a testing course was set with a tricky windward mark in the very variable, but predominantly ESE, wind. The seeding races were won by Alistair Law sailing his white Britpop and Richard Rowan with his trademark green Cheinz. Ominously, Richard began his seeding race with a poor start at the very back of the fleet, but sailed through the opposition showing particularly impressive downwind speed. Also prominent at the start of the regatta were Steve Taylor (Britpop) and Bruce Davidson with his beautifully built wooden Ska.
In the course of the next few races even experienced skippers, including the usually reliable Ian Dundas (Britpop) found great difficulty in recording consistent results. Due to the fickleness of the wind direction what seemed like a good position on the beat could evaporate leaving yachts stranded on the wrong side of the course. In these conditions Pat Johnston and Sandy Mackay sailing Pikantos demonstrated their light airs skills with a one two placing in the second race before Steve Taylor recorded a brace of first places in races three and four.
With the wind dying away to nothing, an early lunch was called and racing resumed after 45 minutes as a breeze set in. However, this again proved fickle and very variable in direction so that it was necessary for race officer Richard Ennos to reset the course four times during the regatta to ensure a competitive beat. Richard Rowan now came to the fore with three race wins in the last four races, the remaining race being won by Simon Robinson from England sailing a V8.
Northern Irish competitors Brian O’Neill and Neill Suitor were no doubt feeling the effects of their 2am start to get to the venue on time. However, Brian had compensated for this by bringing with him his day-glow MX14 which was highly visible even with tired eyes. By four pm it had been possible to complete eight races, giving two very important discards, leaving Richard Rowan the winner with a miserly 9 points, followed by Steve Taylor in second and Bruce Davidson in third.
Richard Ennos, John Handley, Nick Cowern, John Wylie, Hutch Grant, Tony Mitchel, John Dewar
Top placings were:
|3.||B Davidson||Paisley||Ska (modified)||23|
|6.||P Johnston||Ayr Bay||Pikanto||29|