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IOM Scottish Travellers Event 3 – Aberdeen – 12th September 2015

Report by John Owens (RO)

Score Sheet

The third and final Scottish District IOM Travellers event of 2015 was held at Knockburn Sports Loch hosted by Aberdeen Model Yacht Club. With both the individual event and overall 2015 Scottish Travellers results at stake, there was much to play for.

Nine skippers from six Scottish clubs were greeted with a brisk south-south easterly wind calling for #2 rigs. The course was a windward-leeward with a windward spreader mark (all taken to port) and a leeward gate. The key challenges were picking the most advantageous end of the start line to get into the wind channels and then to efficiently round the distant (and optically challenging!) windward mark. To add a twist and keep the skippers on their toes, the course required three course roundings rather than the usual two.

In addition, despite the sterling weed management efforts of Aberdeen Model Yacht Club and Knockburn Sports Loch over several months, some weed was present on the course. During the day all skippers suffered the occasional frustration of being well placed in a race and then being affected by weed.

The combination of wind, course and number of roundings provided the desired interest, challenge and competitive racing for the single fleet. Skippers had to watch for shifts and hope the lifts paid rather than provide false hope. In addition, downwind gust management became more important as the wind strength grew.

By halfway through the morning session, the forecast heavy rain arrived accompanied by a further wind increase. This combination necessitated a change in attire for the skippers and race team alike as well as a change down to the smaller #3 rig. For some skippers, the use of their #3 rig was a novelty and took a few races to sort-out and optimal set-up whilst still coping with the challenging conditions. Nevertheless, there was excellent competitive racing and throughout the morning five different skippers recorded a first place.

Following a badly needed restorative lunch, the afternoon was characterised as battling the challenging wind and rain conditions. Inevitably there were gear failures and Tich Summers, Steve Taylor and Ian Thompson were unfortunately forced to retire. Throughout, David Stewart was putting in a steady string of consistent results and Richard Ennos with his own designed and constructed wooden boat continued to be competitive. Steve Herridge and Sandy Mackay kept on grafting away and never gave up. However, the Ian Dundas attraction to weed declined as the day continued and he was able to collect a string of bullets while Richard Rowan seemed to take on the mantle of weed gatherer.

By late afternoon the wind had become more easterly resulting in a changed course with spreaders at both the windward and leeward mark (all taken to port), three roundings but finishing on the run. Two races were run on this course before racing came to an end (with a sigh of relief in some cases!). The skippers then retired to pack away their equipment and wring out their waterproofs. It was noteworthy that nearly every skipper recorded at least one result in the top three.

Race Officer John Owens gave a vote of thanks on behalf of Aberdeen Model Yacht Club and the Scottish District skippers to Knockburn Sports Loch for their support in running the event. Scorer David Smith then announced the event results with prizes being presented by Mr Tom Wilson from Knockburn Sports Loch.

Top placings were:

PosSkipperClubHull designPoints
1.I DundasAberdeenBritpop14
2.R RowanGreenockCheinz35
3.D StewartTaysideViper42
4.R EnnosLevenhallClassic II46
5.B SummersTaysideBuzz II49
6.S MackayKinghornPikanto60

Race Team
John Owens, David Smith, Cathy Reid and Steve Taylor.

IOM Club Championship and Open event 15th August 2015

16 skippers from all over Scotland gathered at Buchaness to take part in the IOM Club Championship and Open event on 15th August. The event was sailed mostly in a light to medium wind strength mostly from the north west.

Constant wind shifts and changes of strength meant that the skippers had to work very hard to maintain good results. At the end of the day after 11 races, John Owens managed a very creditable win with a score of 20 points followed by Richard Rowan on 26 points and Ali Law on 27 points.

RO was Carl Burrows assisted by Cathy and Bill Reid click here for the full Score Sheet

Also see the Buchanness facebook page click here

IOM Scottish Wooden Boat Championship – Forfar – 13th June 2015

Report by Tich Summers

Score Sheet

Photos from Bill Odger and Ali Law (via Flickr)

The MYA Scottish District IOM Wooden Boat Championship was hosted by Tayside Radio Sailing Club at Forfar Loch on Saturday the 13th June. The wooden IOMs are home built by in garages, garden sheds or even on the kitchen table. Some are self designed and at least one skipper make his own sails – all within the International One Metre class design regulations (an economic high performance radio sailing yacht). The result is some beautiful wooden yachts planked mostly in red cedar. The downside is that on the water they all look very similar and it is not uncommon for skippers to try sailing the wrong boat!

The wind blew at about 8 knots all day from the east with a touch of north at time making for great close racing on good windward leeward courses. Forfar Loch gives an elevated view of the race course from the control area which meant that the twelve entries were able to compete as one fleet without too much conflict and with few OCSs or mark contacts. All contacts between boats were also sorted out on the water between the parties without the need for protests make the work of the race team easier. The race team was led by Boyd Baird as Race Officer who managed to run twenty one races throughout the day with a couple of coffee breaks and a stop for lunch.

Steve Taylor took an early lead winning three out of the first five races, a lead he would not relinquish. Ian Dundas did come close by the end of day with the lads from Aberdeen Model Yacht Club again fighting it out for the top spots leaving Tich Summers from the host club to take the last podium position. The racing was closely fought all the way up and down the fleet with the standard of Wooden IOMs in Scotland clearly in good shape. Steve thanked the race team and Forfar Sailing Club for the exceptional catering. He also commented that he though his wooden Corbie was every bit as fast, if not faster, than his professionally built fiberglass IOM.

All who attended thoroughly enjoyed their day with great racing in good company agreeing that the wooden IOM class is alive and healthy in Scotland. Congratulations must go to the race team for making the day seem very relaxed but still managing twenty one races on quite a long race course.

Top finishing positions

PosSkipperClubHull designPoints
1.S TaylorAberdeenCorbie35
2.I DundasAberdeenCorbie 438
3.B SummersTaysideAlternative68
4.J OwensAberdeenCorbie79
5.R EnnosLevenhallRhyme87
6.A LawBuchannessIntuit92

IOM Scottish District Championships – Castle Semple – 23-24th May 2015

Report by Ian Dundas

Score Sheet

A number of the competitors and race team gathered on the Friday afternoon in pleasant conditions to set up the event and get in a bit of practice. All were looking forward to enjoying the good racing and close competition that is customary at Castle Semple.

The Scottish District IOM Championship would be decided over two full days of racing using the format of two races “back to back” followed by a break. Checks had been made to ensure there would be no issues with weed at the venue and the forecast was for westerly winds, light to start with but building over the weekend.

There was a good entry of 15 boats from 7 Scottish Clubs and one from the Chelmsford Club south of the border. RO Ian Dundas decided to run the event using one heat only.

As forecast, the racing started in light and shifty conditions. Phil Playle, the visiting skipper from Chelmsford, won race 1 with his immaculately prepared Vision IOM showing the others how to pick out the wind shifts in the tricky light conditions. John Owens stole a march on the fleet and won race 2 well ahead of Ali Law in 2nd.

In race 3 the keenness of the fleet was illustrated by two of the top skippers being over the line at the start. Over the next 6 races, race wins were shared at 3 a piece between Phil Playle and Ali Law which meant that after 8 races and 2 discards they were equal at the top of the scoreboard on 11 points each, Steve Taylor was a close 3rd on 17 ahead of his club mate John Owens on 20.

The wind strengthened mid-morning towards 10 knots. There seemed to be a benefit to take a long tack out towards the centre of the loch and catch good pressure into the top mark. This was counterbalanced by good lifts close to shore which often brought the middle of the fleet into contention. The result was very close racing which was certainly not processional on the upwind and downwind legs. Good results were seen from Richard Rowan with his new Chienz winning race 9, Gordon Allison with his new V9 coming second in race 8 and Robert Brown who was back with his Britpop after a period out of the sport with a 3rd in race 5. Hugh Shields was also getting good results with his latest own design and built McShee.

Positions after 8 races (2 discards) Thanks to David Smith for extracting intermediate results

In the afternoon Ali Law and Phil Playle continued to trade places at the front with Ali having a good run scoring 4 race wins.

At the end of day 1 after 15 races, Ali Law on 24 points had opened a 6 point lead over Phil Playle on 30 points, Steve Taylor on 43 points and Richard Rowan had pulled up to 4th with 63 points ahead of John Owens on 71 points. Other notable results were seen from Ian Thompson with his well-earned 2nd place in race 12.

Positions after 15 races (2 discards)

Evening Social
The competitors and race organisers enjoyed an excellent meal at the Canny Man restaurant when the fortunes of the day were reviewed.

Racing started on Sunday with the wind more westerly but much lighter than forecast. This led to more fluky conditions especially in the area close to shore near the windward mark.

Richard Rowan got it right in race 16 to win his second race and John Owens did likewise in race 17 just ahead of Pat Johnston who was sailing a wooden built Alternative. In the next races through to the third discard after 24 races, Ali law posted 3 race wins but uncharacteristically also had some bigger scores to count whereas Phil Playle was maintaining good consistency with nothing higher than a 5th place..

At 24 races Phil with 45 points had pulled up to within 2 points of Ali Law in the lead on 43 points with Steve Taylor in third on 65 points and Richard Rowan on 73 points.

Positions after 24 races (4 discards)

In the last three races, in some very exciting racing, Phil Playle had 2 firsts and a second which meant that he had overtaken Ali Law to win the event and the Visitors trophy. Ali Law who had sailed a very good event was crowned 2015 Scottish District IOM Champion ahead of Steve Taylor and Richard Rowan.

Photos from Bill Reid and Hugh Shields

Photos from Ian Dundas

Top placings after 27 races with 4 discards

PosSkipperClubHull designPoints
1.Phil PlayleChelmsfordVision49
2.Ali Law *BuchannessBritpop56
3.Steve TaylorAberdeenBritpop76
4.Richard RowanGreenockCheinz83
5.John OwensAberdenBritpop114
6.Gordon AllisonAyr BayV9156

* Scottish District Champion

Most Improved Skipper
The special prize from the Race Committee for Most Improved Skipper was awarded to Ian Thomson from Buchanness sailing a Britpop who had a string of very good finishes in the event.

Race Team
Ian Dundas, David Smith, Boyd Baird, Cathy Reid, Bill Reid, Gordon Neil & Victor Kelly

Recognition of Castle Semple Staff and Facilities
Thanks were extended by the Competitors and Race Team to the Management of the Castle Semple Centre for the contribution made by all the staff towards the success of the event.

IOM Scottish Travellers Event 2 – Greenock – 2nd May 2015

Report by Richard Rowan

Score Sheet

The second Scottish District IOM Travellers event of 2015 was moved at Castle Semple due to low water levels at Murdieston Dam. The Greenock club also decided not to hold the Scotts of Greenock trophy as part of the days sailing – it will be held at Murdieston Dam later in the season.

Fifteen skippers from a total of seven Scottish clubs gathered to face a strong easterly breeze. RO Richard Rowan got the racing started at 10am using a windward – leeward course with a windward spreader mark and a leeward gate. The starting line was situated to leeward of the gate giving a slightly longer first beat.

Steve Taylor started the regatta well by sailing to 3 firsts in the first 4 races. He was followed closely by Ali Law and Ian Dundas, all sailing their Britpops. As the races unfolded, Ian got to grips with the conditions and started to ease out a lead over Ali and Steve.

Watching the running boats from the shore, the Britpops could be seen to be much faster downwind in the choppy conditions, with the sole exception of Gordon Allison who was sailing his new V9 for the first time in the strong number 2 suit conditions. Gordon will be pleased with his new boat because, after coping with un-optimised boat and rigging setup in the morning session, he gradually improved his speed to the extent that he was getting in amongst the Britpops at the end of the day.

Best of the rest were Robert Rooney sailing his Topico who took quite a few races to get his boat settled into the conditions and Richard Ennos sailing his own design wooden hulled Rhyme.

So after 18 hard races, the winner was Ian Dundas followed quite closely by Ali Law and Steve Taylor, with Gordon Allison ending up a slightly distant fourth.

Top placings were:

PosSkipperClubHull designPoints
1.I DundasAberdeenBritpop27
2.A LawBuchannessBritpop31
3.S TaylorAberdeenBritpop33
4.G AllisonAyr BayV966
5.R RooneyPaisleyTopico84
6.R EnnosLevenhallRhyme85

Race Team
Richard Rowan, Hugh Shields, David Smith, Drew Taylor, Victor Kelly, John Mason and John Mathieson.

IOM Open Event at Paisley MYC 11th April 2015

Report by Richard Rowan

Score sheet

16 skippers were welcomed to the briefing by Race Officer Robert Rooney on a pleasant day with a good number 2 breeze from the west. The fleet included 3 skippers from Ireland, Brian and Terence O’Neill from Northern Ireland and Gilbert Louis from Howth near Dublin, and one skipper from the North East – David Ross.
To get things going, Robert set a windward / leeward course across the southern shore of the Barshaw Lake. With the general wind direction not changing much during the day, the course remained unchanged throughout the day. Robert also choose to run the event using two heats.

Richard Rowan sailing his elderly Italiko and Brian O’Neill sailing his fluorescent orange MX14 won their respective seeding races in what might be described as tricky conditions – a lot of big wind shifts, a lot of big squalls and a slight bend in the wind at the top end of the course which frequently favoured an approach to the windward mark from the port lay line. The wind strength was not quite enough to suit number 3 rigs other than for John Matheson who really sprinted away from the start line in his seeding race sailing his dark blue Brit Pop with his number 3 rig set.

And so the scene was set for some difficult and challenging racing. Not only were the wind shifts causing difficulty in getting the beats right, but the starting line was also challenging. Quite often, the wind direction at the start resulted in the line being quite biased to the port end which of course was also the end next to the bank. Some port flyers were seen but often what looked like a potential port end start would be cut off by the fleet coming down the line on starboard.

Over the course of the morning, the score sheet shows that it was difficult for any skipper to maintain good placings – all the top skippers had one or more poor results, apart from Bruce Davidson sailing his wooden Ska and Hugh Shields sailing his McShee mark xxxx… who were both putting together a series of good results. Chris Nichols from Levenhall sailing a Widget originally owned by John Mason also managed a couple of good placings.

Lunch time saw a small increase in mean wind strength and a significant increase in the strength of the gusts. So, the skippers then had to contend with their boats nose diving on the runs as really vicious squalls came through at regular intervals.

After lunch, a ding dong battle was emerging between Richard Rowan and Gilbert Louis which eventually ended with the two skippers having equal points but with Richard having the higher discards and coming out as the winner. Bruce Davidson wasn’t too far behind in third place. 4th and 5th places were tied on corrected points between Chris Nichols and Hugh Shields with the tie being resolved in favour of Chris Nichols. That left Hugh thinking about boat construction as he had suffered a minor boat problem over the last 2 races resulting in a couple of high scores.

Top placings

PositionSkipperClubPointsHull Design
1stRichard RowanGreenock MY&PBC24Italiko
2ndGilbert LouisHowth YC26Goth XP
3rdBruce DavidsonAyr Bay RYC30Ska
4thChris NicholsLevenhall RYC43Widget
5thHugh ShieldsGreenock MY&PBC43McShee
6thDavid StewartTayside RYC45Viper
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