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IOM Scottish Travellers Event 1 – Levenhall – 14th March 2015

Report by Richard Ennos

Score Sheet

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.

Race Team
Richard Ennos, John Handley, Nick Cowern, John Wylie, Hutch Grant, Tony Mitchel, John Dewar

Top placings were:

PosSkipperClubHull designPoints
1.R RowanGreenockCheinz9
2.S TaylorAberdeenBritpop14
3.B DavidsonPaisleySka (modified)23
4.I DundasAberdeenBritpop27
5.A LawBuchannessBritpop27
6.P JohnstonAyr BayPikanto29

Richard Rowan receives the 2014 MYA Syan Award

At the 2014 MYA AGM, Richard Rowan received the Syan Award from the MYA President Derek Priestley. This prestigious award, in memory of Peter Maskell, was created to
recognise an individual (or group) who has made an outstanding contribution to model yachting.

For many years, Richard tirelessly worked behind the scenes on MYA Council as the MYA IT Officer. Most, if not all of the IT databases that underlie the administration of the MYA and support the website, Members Area and Knowledge Base were designed, developed and maintained by Richard.

An excellent example of innovative facilities introduced by Richard for MYA members is the convenience of the on-line registration for competitors to enter race events. The stability of these systems lies testament to Richard’s attention to detail, diligence and the hours of his own time that this required. In addition, Richard has provided sterling service to members of the MYA Scottish District by designing and maintaining the Scottish District website. Initially he ran the website himself but latterly he provides a service to the Scottish District Committee and Clubs by promptly loading the material with which he is provided. A rough estimate would be ~150 updates a year (reports, pictures, scoresheets, etc.)

In 2014 Richard stood down from his role of IT Officer on MYA Council but continues to be involved through his recent nomination as Scottish District Councillor. Richard is a regular competitor on the Scottish Radio Sailing scene. It should not be forgotten that he has a high level radio sailing career having represented Ireland at World Championship level. Thus, it is not surprising that he has a reputation as a tough skipper to beat on the water. However, he has never lost sight of his roots and recently ran a fleet of Micro-Magic boats to demonstrate the allure of the sport and encourage others into our sport with a hands-on experience.

In conclusion, Richard Rowan is a fitting recipient of the 2014 MYA Syan Award.

The Scottish District welcomes 4 new clubs

The Scottish District welcomes 4 new clubs to the District. These comprise a new Scottish club – Kinghorn Radio Sailing Club located in Fife and the 3 Northern Ireland clubs who were previously affiliated through the Northern District – Belfast Waterworks MBC, Carrickfergus MBC and East Down Yacht Club. These clubs have been added to our website. They can also be found on the MYA Clubs list.

The Cat Sails 2014 IOM Ulster Championships 15-16th November 2014

Report as published in the Down Recorder web site

Overall Results

Photos by Sue Brown of Catsails

Lough Money, near Downpatrick in Co Down, was the perfect venue recently for the 2014 Cat Sails International One Metre (IOM) Ulster Championships, incorporating the Anglo-Celtic Challenge Cup.

The event was hosted by Belfast Waterworks Model Boat Club and after two days of sunshine and superb radio-controlled racing, Englishman Josh King was crowned Ulster champion for 2014, closely followed by current world champion Rob Walsh, from Scotland.

This is the third year the Ulster clubs have hosted their annual IOM Championship, which has grown further in stature with the inclusion of six high-calibre English entrants in addition to top skippers from Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

There were a total of 20 races over the two days — 16 of them coming on an action-packed Saturday.

The Irish skippers struggled early on to make any impression on the leaderboard, such was the fleet’s pace, although Howth’s Stephen Kay managed an impressive win in race 5 along with a third and three further very respectable fourth places on day one.

The fleet retired to nearby Paddy’s Barn in Saul on Saturday night and were treated to great hospitality.

Racing on Sunday was restricted to 1pm to allow competitors time to pack up, have the prize giving and prepare for the long journey home.

Northern Ireland’s Richard Rowan and the Republic’s Gilbert Louis started getting to grips with the fleet’s level of performance and began to steadily climb up the score board as the day unfolded.

Richard posted a fine win in Race 19, with Gilbert posting a win in the final race of the event. Both skippers were racing new boats and found learning to get the best out of their steeds in such a hot fleet no easy task.

Scotland’s impressive collective results tally ensured they retained their grip on the Anglo-Celtic Challenge Cup for the second successive year with England finishing second, Northern Ireland third and the Republic of Ireland holding up the rear.

Event sponsors Nigel and Sue Brown, of Cat Sails, presented the prizes and received a nice bottle of whiskey for sponsoring the event.

Thanks were expressed by the fleet to race management team of Pat Johnston (from Scotland), Bill Scott and Brian O‘Neill for two days of competitive racing

Thanks were also extended to the Department of Culture and Leisure for granting permission to host the event at such a fantastic venue.

On the evidence of the weekend’s racing at Lough Money, radio sailing in Northern Ireland is very much on the up.

Scottish District AGM 2014

The MYA Scottish District AGM was held on Saturday 25th October, 2014 at The Royal Tay Yacht Club in Dundee. There are a number of changes to the committee as set out below. For all committee contact details open the District Committee page click here
• Racing Secretary Alastair Law
• Senior Measurer Steve Taylor
• District Councillor Richard Rowan

IOM Scottish District Championships – Forfar Loch – 11th October 2014

Report by Ali Law

Score Sheet

The Championship was organised by Ali Law with help from Tayside Radio Sailing Club (TRSC) and Buchanness RYC (BRYC). The regatta was sailed on Forfar Loch the home water of TRSC. Members of Forfar Sailing Club (the dinghy sailors) opened the clubhouse and served up hot food and drink all day and the MYA Scottish District would like to thank them for setting aside the time and for being such brilliant hosts.

The race team for the event was led by Principal Race Officer Ali Law and assisted by Race Officer Carl Burrows, scorer Cathy Reid (BRYC), rescue boat Boyd Baird with Murphy (TRSC) and line judge Bill Lees (Ayr Bay). The race team worked extremely well together under the leadership of Ali and kept the racing moving at a healthy pace in some times very light conditions. Fifteen skippers attended the RO briefing.

The wind was coming out of the southwest with some small swings into the west during the morning session with a strength of about 4 mph. Initially the RO set a weather mark with an offset mark to starboard as the wind was coming in from the southwest with a leeward mark also with an offset mark. Later the wind moved west allowing a port hand rounding and at the same time, a gate was set at the leeward end of the course. The wind strength was light in the morning and then built up a little in the afternoon. There were wind streaks and some illusive shifts to be found which made for challenging sailing and which kept the skippers thinking and looking around for that lift!

No skipper was offered a starting advantage, indeed such was the class of the fleet no one qualified for one.

It was not a surprise after fifteen races that Steve Taylor had his nose over the line in front of Ian Dundas with a creditable third place to Richard Rowan sailing Ali Law’s Cheinz. John Owens had a good run of results in the middle of the day but unfortunately had one too many big results and so ended up in fourth position.

In summary, the event was sailed in at a great venue with excellent weather in October with a nice breeze for good quality radio sailing. The regatta was well controlled by the race team and we saw Carl Burrows step up to the role of race officer which he fulfilled with credit and with the use of radio handsets, provided by Boyd we had some slick course changes. If I were to pick the best improver it would have to be John Owens who sailed an excellent regatta leading the fleet so many times and getting second and third places and achieving three firsts, two seconds and two thirds whilst sailing in a firm but gentlemanly manner. Indeed the whole feet were very well behaved in some very trying circumstances because of local conditions. The regatta was sailed in good sportsmanship overall with only a few incidents which was sorted out on the water. From a PRO perspective, this is one of the best regattas and a great advertisement for radio sailing.

Top placings were:

PosSkipperClubHull designPoints
1.S TaylorAberdeenBritpop27
2.I DundasAberdeenBritpop33
3.R RowanGreenockCheinz47
4.J OwensAberdeenBritPop53
5.B SummersTaysideBuzz II62
6.P JohnstonAyr BayPikanto77

IOM Scottish Travellers Event 3 – Buchanness -13th September 2014

Report by Ali Law    Score Sheet

Hosted by Buchanness RYC in Peterhead, this was the last of the three 2014 SD IOM Travellers events. The race team for the event was led by Race Officer Bill Odger helped by scorer Cathy Reid and line judge Bill Reid.

The team worked very well together and kept the racing going at a steady pace. Ten skippers attended the RO briefing.

The wind was initially from the south but gradually swung to the south east and eventually from the east with a steady strength of around 4 mph. The RO set a weather mark with an offset mark to starboard to reduce problems even though it was at a distance. A gate was set at the leeward end of the course which gave skippers a choice which could if chosen correctly give them good gains if not the opposite. This was changed when the course was set for the easterly wind and a port rounding windward mark was set close to the south bank near where the skippers were able to stand.

One Buchanness skipper, Steve Herridge, was sailing an IOM for only the second time. There was unanimous agreement by all skippers that he would be given a generous starting advantage. This he used to good effect and was down to scratch by lunch time! As the day progressed, while the RO wrestled with courses to handle the shifting wind direction, during the races the skippers were having to deal with a mix of shifts and occasional holes.

As the results show, this made for a much more challenging day than the 4 mph wind might suggest. Everyone suffered from the snakes and ladders that the conditions presented at some stage or other with seven different skippers recording one or more first places. Richard Rowan made the long journey from Dunoon and sailed a loaned Cheinz. He soon had his tune on the boat and began to see the Richard of old chasing for victory. However, Steve Taylor and Ian Dundas, recently returned from the UK IOM Nationals, were hard to beat and it was not long before it became obvious that they were fighting for first place.

After 15 races, it was Steve Taylor who won the day by two points over Ian Dundas with Richard third and Steve Herridge fourth.

In summary, a the event was sailed at a great venue with good weather and a very nice breeze which made for good radio sailing. The regatta was well controlled by the race team with the emergence of another RO from Buchanness which looks good for the future. Another new radio sailor making his debut was good to see. The regatta was sailed in good sportsmanship overall with only a very few incidents which were sorted out on the water.

Top placings were:

PosSkipperClubHull designPoints
1.S TaylorAberdeenCorby37
2.I DundasAberdeenBritpop39
3.R RowanGreenockCheinz43
4.S HerridgeBuchannessStealth49
5.J OwensAberdeenBritPop52
6.A LawBuchanessBritPop53

IOM Scottish Wooden Hull Championships Forfar – Saturday 7th June 2014

Report by Ali Law

Score Sheet

The 2014 Scottish Wooden Hull IOM Championship was held on 7th June at Forfar Loch. This was the 10th anniversary of this popular Scottish radio sailing event and attracted a strong fleet of 17 boats predominately from Scottish Clubs but also included 2 visiting skippers from Northern Ireland and a Danish skipper.

Although Forfar Loch is the sailing water of the newly formed Tayside Radio Sailing Club, the Race Team for the event was mainly made up of volunteers from the Buchanness Club; Cathy Reid, Carl Burrows, Bill Odger and Ian Thomson as well as local skipper Alex Burnett and Murphy who manned the rescue boat. The race team was led by the experienced Race Officer Ali Law who took this opportunity to train the new race team members in race management procedures.

All the participating yachts were home build in wood with many designed and built by the skippers themselves. Over the years since its inception in 2005 the quality of the wooden IOM yacht designs and the standard of finish have progressively improved. This year saw a number of upgraded designs such as the latest Buzz sailed by Tich Summers, a new Corbie sailed by John Owens, Richard Ennos’s latest design called Classic 11 and Boyd Baird’s Intilit. Neill Suitor from Northern Ireland sailed a brand new wooden V8 design which he launched for the first time at the event. In addition to these new designs, there were a number of older designs such as the Swallow sailed by Brian O’Neill and the Baracuda sailed by young local skipper Max Caird. It was good to see a number of founder members of the wooden boat event, John Milne and Jimmy Rodger turning up to spectate throughout the day and encourage the new wooden boat builders.

The forecast easterly wind swung south easterly requiring the windward mark to be laid some distance off the bank. Spreader marks were laid at both windward and leeward ends of the course to ensure good fleet separation at marks. The well elevated bank along the shore helped skippers to have full vision of their boats around the long course. Weather conditions remained excellent throughout the day with clear sunny skies and steady wind conditions prevailing. Occasionally the wind swung back and forth between SE and E. Skippers needed to stay very alert to avoid getting caught out on the wrong side of the shift upwind or to miss the changes in wind pressure on the downwind legs. Later in the day when the wind strength increased, a downwind turning gate was introduced. With the increased wind strength a couple of skippers opted to change down to No 2 rig.

Two seeding races were sailed to find an order of merit before fleet racing proper. The first seeding race was won by Neill Suitor followed by Pat Johnston and Tom Milne. The second seeding race was won by Ian Dundas followed by Tich Summers and John Owens.

In the morning session, five two heat races were completed before the lunch break with Ian Dundas winning 4 races with his well sorted Corbie and Richard Ennos winning one with his Classic 11. There were many skippers challenging at the front of A heat – Tich Summers, Neill Suitor and Steve Taylor all had top finishes but none were scoring consistent enough results to threaten Ian’s lead. Peter Thiellesen who missed the first two races showed excellent pace with two consecutive second place finishes in races 3 and 4. There were also some skippers who did very well to win B fleet and promote into the A fleet only to suffer misfortune and end up dropping back into B.

Over the five races in the afternoon Ian continued his good form with 3 further race wins giving him first place overall. Steve Taylor was pushing hard winning race 7 and was not out of the top three all afternoon which pulled him up to second place. Tich Summers who won Race 8 and also maintained a consistent series of results took third place ahead of Neill Suitor. The next 4 places overall were only separated by 9 points which demonstrated how close the racing was behind the front runners.

At the prize giving the competitors expressed thanks to the Buchaness Race Team for their efforts in delivering a really well-run and enjoyable event. The Race Officer replied by recognising that over the 20 races good sportsmanship had been maintained and all penalties had been settled on the water. Skippers are already talking about new designs or mods for next year’s wooden boat event.

Top finishing positions

PosSkipperPoints
1I Dundas
2S Taylor19
3B Summers24
4N Suitor30
5P Thiellesen35
6R Ennos42

Scotts of Greenock Trophy – 17th May 2014

The above event was held at Murdieston Dam on Saturday 17th May.

11 IOM skippers turned out to be met with a south westerly wind which increased in strength as the day wore on, producing gusty conditions. Most skippers started the day on No.2 rigs however one or two brave souls tried their top rig, but not for long! It was not long before the strong wind was joined by heavy rain which continued throughout the day making conditions extremely unpleasant.

A windward /leeward course was set which, apart from adjustments to the start/finish line, was used all day. 12 races were completed before lunch, by which time, due to a combination of the conditions, broken boats, and broken spirits, the fleet had been reduced to 6. After lunch 8 races were sailed and by the conclusion of racing at 15.00 the fleet had been further reduced to 4 boats.

Not surprisingly the winners came from those who braved the conditions to the bitter end. Bruce Davidson, who sailed consistently well throughout the day, ran out the clear winner, with Robert Rooney second, and David Stewart, on his first visit to Greenock third. Pat Johnston who also had sailed well during the morning, might well have been in contention but, perhaps wisely, he was one of those who decided to withdraw at lunch time.

This is an event that will be remembered perhaps more for the horrible weather, rather than the sailing, however the clubhouse banter also contributed to what was an eventful day.

Gordon Rae.

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