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North East Clubs 2005 Early Series Summary report

The North East Clubs winter series continued over February, March and April 2005 with events held at Buchanness, Aberdeen and Brechin.

This winter series was set up last year as a means to encourage new members to take part in larger fleet racing during the winter period and hopefully to go on to take part in the IOM Scottish Travellers in the summer. The RYGG handicap system is used and it was good to see close finishes between all levels of experience and for some skippers to improve their handicap over the winter.

Turnouts averaged 10 boats and a total of 21 skippers took part in the series. This was up from the 15 who took part in the late 2004 series in October, November and December.

The first event took place in Peterhead with a wild and windy forecast. However as we have often seen the weather did not
materialize and a good day was enjoyed be those who made the effort to go North. No2 Rig was used over the day although some skippers did attempt No1 and even No3 Rig at times.

Ali Law at his local; club again showed the way scoring 25 points ahead of Bill Reid and Ian Dundas who finished equal on 32
points – Bill taking the second place on count back.

At the second event in Aberdeen it was also sailed with No2 rigs in a brisk North Westerly. A violent hail storm arrived during
race 3 which threatened the event but luckily this passed through reasonably quickly and after a short break to allow skippers to get feeling back into their hands racing continued under clear skies and steady winds.

15 Races were held around an Olympic style course. Interestingly scratch sailors won 8 races but Handicap sailors won 7 between them. Ali Law again came out on top with Ian Dundas second and Bill Reid continuing his good showing with a third using the club TS2.

The last event held at Brechin on 10th April saw a good turnout from the local club but there was also a visitor from Paisley.
Ali Law volunteered to be OOD. Richard Rowan sailed his Italiko well to take first place ahead of Boyd Baird sailing an Isis and Colin Brown sailing his new Italiko.

IOM Scottish Travellers Event 1 – Aberdeen – 23rd April 2005

The 2005 Scottish IOM Travellers Championship kicked off at Inchgarth in Aberdeen with a turnout of 11 boats. For the first time in a long time, two skippers form Levenhall took part – Richard Ennos and Dane Ashby. However, unfortunately, there were no visitors from Brechin (that club having been a stalwart supporter of the Travellers series in recent years).

Race team Ian Dundas and Alistair Struthers faced a difficult day as the wind was varying by over 90 degrees just prior to the first start. This pattern was present throughout the day, constantly requiring Ian to change the marks of the course and to reset the starting line. For the sailors, over the day the wind generally held at a strength of between 5 and 10 knots, but with little puffs and lifts coming on both sides of the course, getting it right proved quite difficult.

Over the eight races in the moring, Richard Rowan opened a lead over Alastair Law, Graham Campbell and David Loomes (all of whom used up their eventual discards with each having two retirements or last places). Local skipper Jimmy Bisset sailing a competitive Stealth was regularly to be seen at the front of the fleet at the first mark but found it difficult to convert his good starts into good finishing places.

In the afternoon races, Alastair Law settled down and managed a very consistent series of results with Richard Rowan mostly behind. Gradually over the afternoon, Alastair whittled away at Richard’s lunchtime lead and eventually finished with a reasonable margin after his bad morning race results were discarded. Graham Campbell sailing his newly acquired Italico for the very first time started to show the potential of the boat to produce a very good afternoon’s score sheet – this eventually pulled him ahead of David Loomes (they finished 3rd and 4th overall) with local skipper Jimmy Bisset eventually finishing in a much improved 5th place overall.

Score sheet

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North East Clubs 2005 Early Series Event 3 – Brechin – 10th April 2005

Final positions were:

PositionSkipperClubHull DesignPoints
1Richard Rowan PaisleyItaliko22
2Boyd BairdBrechinIsis30
3Colin BrownBuchanessItaliko41
4Ralph KnowlesBrechin 64
5Alan AllsopBuchannessOscar69
6John Milne  91
7Mel PercivalBrechin 102
8Bert Powell  152
9Jimmy Rodger  158
10Jerry Smith  162

North East Clubs 2005 Early Series Event 2 – Aberdeen – 5th March 2005

There was a big turnout for the second in the early 2005 winter series with 6 skippers from Aberdeen and 5 from the Buchanness Club. Unfortunately Brechin Castle were unable to attend this event as their regular participating skippers were either skiing or working offshore.

Skippers brave the elements

A brisk North Easterly wind meant racing got underway with No 2 Rigs. With the RYGG Handicap system being used there were often many boats trying to round marks at the same time as the scratch boats caught up with the slower boats. This meant that there were lots of place changes in the races as inexperienced and experienced skippers were required to take penalty turns for rule infringement or for touching or even missing marks.

A violent hail storm arrived during race 3 which threatened the event but luckily this passed through reasonably quickly and after a short break to allow skippers to get feeling back into their hands we were treated to clear skies and steady winds.

15 Races were held around an Olympic style course. Interestingly, scratch sailors only won 8 races whilst the handicap sailors won 7 between them. Of the scratch sailors, Ali Law won 6 and Ian Dundas won 2 races. From the handicap sailors, Morton Park won a race from red handicap (30 secs) and Brian Robertson won 3, Allan Allsop won 2 and Shaky Bill won 1 all from the yellow handicap start (20 secs). There was also a good showing from Ken Ewen with 4 second places from a red handicap. Ken was also reliable in this regatta with no gear failures. Unfortunately Colin Brown, Jimmy Bisset and Morton Park did have gear failure which pushed them down the finishing position table.

Final positions were:

PositionSkipperClubHull DesignPoints
1Ali Law  BuchannessTopico28
2Ian DundasAberdeenStealth49
3Shaky BillBuchannessTS259
4Brian RobertsonBuchanessItaliko60 on countback
5Alan AllsopBuchannessOscar60
6Morton ParkAberdeenKite72 on countback
7Colin TaitAberdeenItaliko72
8Ken EwenAberdeen 77
9D LatterAberdeen 96
10C BrownBuchaness 99
11Jimmy BissetAberdeen 110

IOM Scottish Ranking Race – Buchaness MYC – 12th and 13th June 2004

The IOM Scottish Ranking Race on 12th and 13th June was held under the auspices of Buchaness MYC at the Castle Semple Visitor Centre at Lochwinnock near Glasgow. The Boussy Medallion was awarded to the highest placed competitor on Sunday who had not previously won a National UK event (including Nationals and Ranking Races).


Saturday dawned fine and sunny but with the wind from the only “bad” direction for Castle Semple ie over the trees at the back of the car park. This immediately gave RO Alistair Law and his team a big problem – how to set a decent course. Alastair quickly concluded that a decent course was not achievable and simply set out 5 buoys, two at either end of the sailing area, one off-shore to form the triangle and two to create the start/finish line.
The skippers in the first seeding heat then found out just how tricky the wind conditions were – puffs coming from nowhere, wind direction changing through all points of the compass – really a bit of a lottery. This remained the case until early in the afternoon when the wind started to come more from one end, which resulted in a more conventional windward/leeward leg scenario. However, throughout the day, it seemed to be more important to be in the right place at the right time.

As the wind filled later in the day, a number of competitors were heard to remark that it was better to be in the pack towards the end of the final run because frequently, a boat that had worked out an advantage during the race would run out of wind down the run and would be engulfed by the fleet carrying a new breeze from behind.

Eventual winner Peter Stollery managed to keep in the wind throughout the day, counting two fifth places as his worst result. Second boat Phil Playle was frequently seen to take the great circle route between the two end marks – ie he always chose to go well offshore looking for the fresher breeze and quite often powered in to the mark at a sharp angle at the last minute. Third boat Chris Harris was always in the hunt right up to the end but a sixth place in the last race took his final total to just one point higher than Phils.


In contrast to Saturday, the wind direction for Sunday was from left to right with a slight on-shore angle. Throughout the day until just before end of sailing, the wind strength was always top end of the A rig, with occasional puffs enough to cause problems downwind. Direction was relatively steady but with enough shifts to make the racing interesting with the left side of the beat being favoured about 70% of the time but always with the possibility of a shift bringing the starboard boats in more quickly than anticipated.

Graham Bantock sailing Alastair Law’s 2004 Italiko took an early lead with a couple of good wins. However, he then dropped back a little to let Trevor Binks and Peter Stollery catch up. During race 4, the wind piped up to its strongest throughout the day giving the A heat skippers some agonising moments about whether to change down or not. Peter Stollery was one of the few leaders who changed to B rig and was immediately rewarded with the wind dropping and a trip to the B heat.

The race team keep a good momentum through out the day and managed 8 full races (each incorporating reasonably long beats).

So eventually towards the end, Graham Bantock took control of the event with a third as his worst place in races 5 to 8, Martin Roberts took second place with a generally consistent set of results, third was Trevor Binks with a couple of 10th places just knocking his final score up past Martin’s.

The Scottish District have been very pleased to be able to run such major events at the Castle Semple Water Sports Centre. We think that everyone will agree that the facilities are simply top class, the winds over the three years that we have run an event at Castle Semple have produced excellent racing on 5 out of 6 days.

We would like to thank the Management and Staff at the Water Sports Centre for their friendly and helpful welcome to the visiting competitors.

Competitor list
Event entry list
Winner of the Boussy Medallion – Mike Clifton

Race Team  
Alastair LawPrincipal Race Officer   Buchaness MYC
Richard EnnosRace OfficerLevenhall RYC
Robert Rooney Finishing linePaisley MYC
John MathesonFinishing line Paisley MYC
David Smith Scorer   Paisley MYC
Alastair Law JuniorFleet BoardBuchaness MYC
Jim BissetRescue BoatAberdeen MYC
John GildeaRescue BoatBuchaness MYC
"Shaky Bill" ReidObserver MarshalBuchaness MYC
Peter Holt Observer MarshalThe Broads RYC

Thanks also to
David Loomes for the scoring computer programme
Graham Campbell for the dinghy and outboard

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