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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.

IOM Scottish Travellers Event 2 – Paisley – 3rd May 2014

Report by David Smith      Score Sheet

When the Race Team from Paisley MYC (comprised of RO and Scorer David Smith assisted by John Mason, Bill Lees and Rae McManus) arrived at Barshaw Park to prepare for a keen day’s racing they were presented with a problem – there was no wind. By the time of the briefing from Race Officer David Smith at 0945 a light breeze appeared fitfully from the East and a course was laid out with the first beat across the south end of the pond followed by a short reach northwards and a longer, diagonal reach back to the start area. The course continued with a further beat across the pond, a run back and a final beat to the finish. Fourteen skippers representing six clubs from Buchanness to Irvine were present to subject themselves to the vagaries of the conditions in search of success.

Richard Rowan established a clear lead to win the first, very slow, race with Gordon Allison second and Robert Rooney third. Richard also won the second race, also very slow, from Pat Johnston and Brian Summers. By the third race the wind had become a light South Easterly which made the start very difficult. Ali Law had begun to get his BritPop! in trim and won this one from Robert Rooney and Pat Johnston. A revised start line was set for the fourth race which Ali Law won from Robert Rooney with Richard Rowan third.

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The wind now shifted to the South and gained strength so the entire course was re-oriented. The first beat was now directly southwards down the centre of the pond with a short reach to the east followed by a longer reach roughly northwards. The course concluded with a further beat to the south and a run back north to the finish. Pat Johnston won race five from Brian Summers while race six was won by Robert Rooney from Gordon Rae (his best finish of the day). Lunch was called at 1230 and pie and beans were gratefully consumed in and around the Clubhouse.

The wind remained generally consistent in strength during the afternoon (good first suit conditions) but it varied quite significantly in direction both during and between races causing some stress in the Race Team trying to set a fair start line.

During the afternoon races the usual suspects of Ali Law, Robert Rooney and Richard Rowan continued to share the lead with occasional incursions into the leading positions from Gordon Allison, Brian Summers and Drew Taylor. Hugh Shields must have benefited from the lunch break to tune his McShee because he had a good run in four or five races, winning race nine. As the races mounted up four skippers retired from combat due in some cases to radio failure and in others to physical stress from all the walking around the pond that the course required!

Robert Rooney had a good run with wins in races ten, twelve, thirteen and fourteen but Ali Law was never far away, winning races eleven, eighteen and nineteen, and generally coming second in the others. Ali and Robert didn’t have it all their own way as Richard Rowan won races fifteen and sixteen while Brian Summers won race seventeen.

After the first few races it was clear that the leaders were Ali Law, Richard Rowan and Robert Rooney; after twelve and sixteen races Robert Rooney seemed to have the edge over the others. However when the scores were totalled after nineteen races, Ali Law gained first place on 31 points closely followed by Robert Rooney in second on 35 points clear ahead of Richard Rowan in third on 45 points. Brian Summers achieved a very creditable fourth place some way behind Richard.

Ali Law thanked Paisley MYC for their organisation in difficult conditions and his fellow skippers for sporting racing.

Top placings were:

PosSkipperClubHull designPoints
1A LawBuchannessBritpop31
2R RooneyPaisleyTopico35
3R RowanGreenockItaliko45
4B SummersForfarBuzz56
5G AllisonPaisleyMX1472
6H ShieldsGreenockMcShee106

IOM National Ranking Race Weekend – 12th and 13th April 2014

Hosted by Greenock MY&PBC at Castle Semple

Report by RO Pat Johnston

Saturday Score Sheet – Sunday Score Sheet

A world-class fleet entered for the MYA IOM Scottish District ranking races at Castle Semple with 53 skippers out on Saturday and 49 on Sunday.

The weather was both good and bad throughout: good because the course could be laid parallel with the shore on both days, bad because it was an evil wind with massive shifts and fierce squalls and sometimes unpleasant due to the addition of cold rain on Sunday for the last part of the day. Add to this the passage of a cold front on Saturday and a warm front on Sunday and you probably get the picture – unstable air.

Skippers were continually faced with the dilemma of which rig to run. Looking at the previous heat was no indication of what was to come but the most successful strategy as it turned out was to go for the bigger rig and accept the diving because the quieter spells were long enough to hurt the more cautious approach. It was great to watch

Nobody got it right every time and Brad Gibson won the first day sailing his “POP!” design. You will have to ask Brad to explain the difference between a POP! and a BritPOP! but I gather it has something to do with beam. Close behind were Graham Bantock followed by Graham Elliott. Ken Binks was fourth partly due to his brilliant “Man of the Match” move where he was the only skipper in his heat to run a top rig in what turned out to be a lull. Nice one Ken.

On Sunday, which was a separate series, the seeding race and race 2 were sailed in four heats, then, with the numbers down a little, the remaining three races were sailed with A, B and C fleets only thanks to a neat bit of juggling by David Smith and Jim Reid who were running the fleet boards.

Peter Stollery came good ahead of Brad Gibson and Graham Elliott was third again tied with both Binks brothers who lost out to fourth and fifth on count-back. It is worth noting that third to thirteenth places were extremely close – Graham Elliott, Trevor Binks and Ken Binks on 21 points followed by John Tushingham on 22, Tony Edwards on 23, Derek Priestly on 24, Rob Walsh on 26, Ian Dundas on 27, Martin Roberts and Stephen Taylor on 28 and Dave Potter on 29.

With the weather deteriorating and so many skippers heading South, the second day was concluded at around 1520, much to the relief of many.

David Smith has just sent me this note which I include verbatim: “I was pleased the decision to award the Boussy Medallion to Graham Elliott found an appreciative response in someone who was aware of Horace Boussy’s place in international model yacht competition. As I now recall it can only be awarded to any individual once; on the results of the weekend Brad Gibson would have merited the award but he had already received it as Graham had clearly remembered.”

As RO, I would like to thank my friends from Greenock, Ayr Bay and Paisley clubs for their fantastic efforts in trying conditions, and also mention the great support we had over three days from the staff at Castle Semple Visitor Centre who pulled out all the stops for us – makes a huge difference.

IOM Scottish Travellers 2014 Event 1 – Levenhall – 29th March 2014

Report by Richard Innos

Score Sheet

YouTube video (by Terry Connell)

Twelve skippers, including newcomer Chris Nichols, assembled at Levenhall for the first race of the Scottish Travellers series of 2014. A wide range of IOM designs were on show including the modified Ska of Bruce Davidson which was beautifully built over the last winter, the Kantun of Gordon Rae and the new Goth MX14 sailed by Gordon Allison. The wind was a raw north easterly, force 2 to 3, very suitable for number one suit. The wind direction allowed RO Richard Ennos (very ably assisted by the race team of John Handley, Sandy Mackay, Nick Cowern, Terry Connell and John Dewar) to set an easily visible course that made use of the western bay of the Levenhall boating pond.

After the usual preliminaries, Alistair Law won the first race with Bruce Davidson, the two BritPops of Ian Dundas and John Owens and the Buzz II of Brian Summers not far behind. Race two saw Ian Dundas out of control at the start, but subsequently regaining contact with his yacht and crossing the finishing line well ahead of the rest of the fleet, only to be disqualified by race officer Richard Ennos. However it was clear that Ian had the boat speed and pointing ability to dominate the rest of the racing, and so it proved. By lunchtime nine races had been completed and Ian already had a healthy lead with Alistair Law struggling for form and Brian Summers belatedly getting to grips with the conditions.

A shift in the wind direction after lunch saw a major rearrangement of the course allowing for a very long beat and run with the windward mark and spreader close enough for the shifty winds off the eastern bank to cause problems for even the most experienced skippers. In this part of the regatta there was a lot of very good tactical sailing throughout the fleet providing a great spectacle for the race team and interested bystanders. There were race wins for Gordon Allison, Bruce Davidson, Brian Summers and John Owens who were sailing very consistently. However none of these skippers could seriously challenge Ian Dundas who was able to recover on a number of occasions from what seemed a hopeless position and never finishing below fourth place in the second half of the regatta. With only one fleet, and infringements being sorted out on the water rather than in protest committees, the number of races sailed swiftly mounted. By four o’clock, when the last race was held, some twenty races had been completed and concentration was almost exhausted.

Overall it was agreed that this had been a very enjoyable opening to the 2014 Scottish District IOM Travellers series. The favourable wind direction and opportunity for setting a long course had provided the fleet with a thorough examination of their sailing skills. Ian Dundas emerged as the clear winner of the regatta with Brian Summers and John Owens in second and third spots respectively.

Top placings were:

PosSkipperClubHull designPoints
1.I DundasAberdeenBritpop27
2.B SummersForfarBuzz II43
3.J OwensAberdeenBritpop52
4.B DavidsonPaisleySka (modified)66
5.G AllisonPaisleyGoth MX1475
6.D StewartForfarIsis109

Report for 2013-2014 Winter Series

South West Clubs IOM Winter Series October 2013 through to February 2014

The final event in the series took place on Saturday 1st March. This is the third year the series has run and it is proving very popular with all the Southwest IOM class skippers. The format is to race on the first Saturday of the six winter months (October – March) at Castle Semple and encourage competitive sailing and greater activity within each club. This series has seen a total of 20 skippers take part in the six events and this number is improving each year. The most active skippers accrue the most points toward the individual skipper standings. The top 3 performing skippers from each club have their points added up after each event and the lowest club score wins that particular event.

The weather obviously plays a big part in the events and this winter we managed to stage five out of the six events on schedule. Only one event had to be rescheduled due to the storms we all endured. We did proceed with the event in November with gusts of 60mph! Whilst few survived (!) it shows the enthusiasm of the skippers.

Over the six events, there were 5 different winners and each club had winning positions. Going into the last event, the top 2 skipper positions were separated by only 8 points. Although Paisley was leading the series, it was still very close and all three had a chance of winning the championship. All to play for!

Gordon Allison, who was only just leading the skipper standings, decided to race his newly acquired but untested Goth MX14 rather than the borrowed Lintel MMX that had been performing so well. Pat Johnston was very close behind and raced his new Ska design instead of his high performing Lintel. Bruce Davidson of Ayr Bay chose to race his self built Ska instead of his Italiko. This proved to be a good move as he won the last event with ease.

With Robert Rooney finishing 2nd, Gordon Allison 3rd and Terry Connell 5th, Paisley won the last event by only 17 points from Ayr Bay to give them the championship. The MYA Scottish District Chairman David Smith presented the awards after.

Final Club positions

1stPaisley823 pts
2ndGreenock935 pts
3rdAyr Bay942 pts
d>Greenock935 pts 3rd Ayr Bay 942 pts td>Paisley 823 pts 2nd Greenock 935 pts 3rd Ayr Bay 942 pts 3rd Ayr Bay 942 pts

Clubs overall results table

Final Skipper positions

1stGordon AllisonPaisley523.0 pts
2ndPat JohnstonGreenock461.3 pts
3rdBruce DavidsonAyr Bay436.7 pts

Skippers overall results table

All the clubs would like to acknowledge the assistance and generosity of all the staff at the Castle Semple centre. Special thanks to John Mason, Terry Allison and Gordon Winton, who gave up their time (and comfort), to assist in race duties. Last but not least, a very big thank you to Gordon Neil who provided the dinghy and equipment at all the events.

New Club – Tayside Radio Sailing Club

A new club is formed in the District from Ian Dundas (Scottish DC)

The Scottish District Committee is pleased to welcome Tayside Radio Sailing Club into the District. The aim of the new club is to create a first class venue at Forfar Loch to allow participation in the sport of radio sailing. A number of radio sailors have already joined the club and sailing at Forfar is planned for Saturdays and Wednesday afternoons.

We wish the new club well with setting up and look forward to seeing TRSC taking part in District events in 2014.

IOM Scottish Wooden Hull Championships Forfar – Saturday 15th June 2013

Report by Ali Law

Score Sheet

The 2013 Scottish District Wooden IOM Championship was held at a new venue as Brechin was out of use because of an infestation of weed. Forfar Dinghy Sailing Club willingly granted use of their sailing water and we wish to thank them for their hospitality. It proved to be weed free and a superb piece of water ideally suited to racing radio yachts. Thanks are due to Ralph Knowles for negotiating the use off.

All yachts in the regatta were home built in wood, mostly cedar, and a few were to the skippers own design. This allowed the skipper to build in his own ideas as to how a yacht should be like. Brian Summers not only designed and built the hull but also designed and made his own sails – quite an achievement.

The Race Officers briefing began promptly at 9:45am. Fifteen skippers travelled from as far afield as the northeast of Scotland to Ulster in Northern Ireland. Clubs represented were Aberdeen, Brechin, Buchanness, Greenock, Levenhall and Ulster.

The RO set a now customary windward-leeward course running from east to west along the beach which proved ideal for visibility, the windward mark being placed to the west with the spreader nearer to the beach. This meant that the skippers were presented with a starboard rounding course but there was no alternative. The gate was at the east end and presented many challenges with great gains and losses to be had if the skipper got it correct or wrong. The wind stayed in the west all day with small insignificant alterations in direction but the velocity was something different which kept the skippers on their toes with lots of sail changing.

Two seeding races were sailed to find an order of merit before fleet racing proper and these were won by Ian Dundas sailing his Corby design and Pat Johnston sailing his modified Ska design. The fleet were now split into two heats A and B with B fleet on the water first and the first four boats to finish the race going up and sailing in the A heat and the four last boats dropping down to the B heat and so it goes on. Steve Taylor suffered radio problems on his seeding race and had to retire from the heat but was soon on the water for his B heat. At the end of the day this might have cost him the championship.

Brian Summers had three good results 1st 2nd and a 4th with the others not so good but this was maybe down to little experience in sailing in the number 2 rig in waves but be sure he will learn and be challenging – an excellent result for a someone who has designed and built from the keel to the top of the mast. Others had a mixed bag. Pat won his seeding race and was looking forward to good results but had to retire with gear failure after Race 5. Mel, who again designed and built his own boat, saw signs of encouragement in his first competition with the boat. Hughie Shields is on to about mark twenty but has a winner on his hands with a yacht that liked the conditions. He finished 7th overall at the end of the day. David Stewart sails one handed and had a superb day sailing a wooden Isis to great effect and finished 3rd overall. He must be man of the match.

We had a great day’s sailing and all skippers sailed in a sportsmanship manner doing their penalties some without being told but all in good humour – what an advertisement for the sport.

Lastly, we must recognise Brian O’Neil’s dedication and love for the sport as the longest travelled skipper who came all the way from Ireland for one day’s sailing and loved every minute even at the end of the day coming 14th. He will be back.

Top finishing positions

1.I Dundas11
2.S Taylor13
3.D Stewart34
4.R Ennos36
5.B Summers39
6.J Owens40

IOM Scotts of Greenock Trophy – Greenock – Saturday 25th May 2013

Report by Pat Johnston

Score Sheet

12 skippers from Greenock, Ayr Bay, Levenhall and Paisley competed over 18 races at Murdieston Dam, Greenock. The weather was particularly fine with a clear sky and force 2-4 SW winds, only accepting the first race which was sailed in a flukey and light Easterly (where did this come from ?) As usual at Greenock, the wind contained many shifts and squalls as it found it’s way onto the dam past the trees, adding to the amusement of the competitors.

The clear master of the class and conditions was Richard Rowan with his immaculate Italico. He finished with a remarkable score of 20 points after discarding a fifth and two seconds!

The next five places were closely fought over, with only 22 points separating Gordon Allison, Robert Rooney, Hughie Shields, Terry Connel and Patrick Johnston in that order.

A traditional and delicious pie and beans lunch was served by the non-sailing members and all went home with a great dose of vitamin D.

Our only lady IOM sailor so far, the lovely Linda, mailed me this link to a Youtube video taken on the day

Well done the movie-maker, particularly as it shows a race where your reporter did not disgrace himself.

Thanks to all helpers, competitors and supporters for a cracking day.

Top finishing positions

1.Richard Rowan20
2.Gordon Allison55
3.Robert Rooney60
4.Hugh Shields70
5.Terry Connel75
6.Pat Johnston77

IOM Scottish Travellers District Championships & Travellers Event 2 – 11th and 12th May 2013

Report by Gordon Allison

District Championships – Score Sheet   Travellers 2 – Score Sheet

The Scottish District IOM Championships and Travellers 2 event were held at Castle Semple Lochwinnoch on Saturday 11th Sunday and 12th May. Paisley Model Yacht Club were the hosts of the event and an entry of 25 was expected.

The District Championships were raced for over the 2 days whilst the Travellers 2 event was raced for on Sunday only.


The skippers arrived for registration / measuring early on Saturday morning to be greeted with a strong breeze and heavy rain. Not the weather expected in May ! Some boat failures and the prospect of getting truly soaked due to the horrible weather caused a number of skippers to call off.

Race Officer Gordon Allison gathered skippers for briefing and set a windward – leeward course with a leeward gate. The skippers were divided into two seeding fleets to establish A & B fleet racing throughout the day.

There were big decisions to be made for the skippers whether to sail with the number 1 rig or change down to number 2 rig. Most stayed with the number 1 rig which proved to be fruitful for Steve Taylor from Aberdeen who won the first 2 races sailing a BritPOP!. John Owens and 2012 champion Ian Dundas, both also sailing BritPOP!’s, were close behind in the first few races. Brian Summers, sailing a completely self built Buzz design soon found form and started to challenge the popular BritPOP!s. This all provided very close racing. Good starts, tactics and studying the wind shifts were paramount in order for skippers to maintain fleet position. Other skippers doing well were Richard Ennos, Pat Johnston, Richard Rowan and Bruce Davidson.

Half way through the morning session the race team had to contend with moving marks. The water level at the loch had risen due to the rain downpour and began drifting from their position. A couple of races had to be shortened due to this but the boatmen sorted it out without too much disruption. Lunch time gave everyone a well deserved break from the rain and everyone dried out as much as they could.

After lunch it was proving very difficult for skippers to stay in the A fleet as competition was proving very hard indeed. Skippers with hard chine boats had the advantage as they could stay with the number 1 rig while others changed down to number 2. Almost all B fleet skippers managed to get up to A fleet at some point in the afternoon which showed there was plenty of competition. There were no formal protests at all during the day which meant that racing flowed very well. This was of great credit to the skippers. Racing finished at 16.30 by which time the weather had improved a little.


Sunday morning saw the arrival of Irish entries Brian O’Neil and Gilbert Louis. These two skippers had travelled over from Belfast on the overnight ferry and after a 2 hour drive from Stranraer arrived at Castle Semple at 4.00am !

The skippers were gathered for a short race briefing at 09.15am just as the rain started to set in again. With a strengthening wind from the south west, the race team set a course which they hoped would last throughout the day.

As on Saturday, two seeding races were held to provide A and B fleets. Ali Law sailing a BritPOP! won the first 2 races convincingly followed by Brian Summers. Brian’s self built boat was proving to be more than a match to the BritPOP! design which showed everyone what can be achieved in this class.

However, it was clear early on that the boats who could sustain the number 1 rig would reap the rewards as most other skippers found it very frustrating to change down and find the wind lessened and vice versa. The Irish skippers were having mixed fortunes, from bad starts and rig failures to finishing high up the A fleet and wining B fleets.

Nick Cowern, sailing his newly delivered Kantun which he had only just rigged, found it hard to find the best set up but did seem to perform on certain legs. David Stewart sailing his Viper performed better on Sunday, as did Ralph Knowles, Hugh Shields, and Gordon Neil who managed to get his TS2 going.

Again, during Sunday racing, there were no protests at all and all skippers showed impeccable discipline by taking their turns without fuss, although there were a many recalls at the start due to the close competition. At the end of a very wet weekend of racing, the north east contingent provided the top 3 positions for both the championships and the Travellers 2 event. This was headed by Ian Dundas who won by 10 points from his club mates, Steve Taylor and John Owens.

Prizes were presented by Charles Woodward – the manager of Castle Semple – and local Councillor Gilmour. The Scottish District Chairman, race team and skippers also thanked the centre for use of the facility and the wonderful staff they have who provided fantastic assistance throughout the two day event.

Scottish District Championships 2013
Top placings were:

PosSkipperClubHull designPoints
1.I DundasAberdeenBritPOP!31
2.S TaylorAberdeenBritPOP!41
3.J OwensAberdeenBritPOP!45
4.B SummersBrechinBuzz51
5.R EnnosLevenhallStanza77
6.R RowanGreenockItaliko80

Scottish IOM Travellers 2
Top placings were:

PosSkipperClubHull designPoints
1.I DundasAberdeenBritPOP!12
1.B SummersBrechinBuzz15
3.J OwensAberdeenBritPOP!18
4.S TaylorAberdeenBritPOP!20
5.R EnnosLevenhallStanza41
6.R RowanGreenockItaliko43
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