The 2020 MYA Scottish District IOM Wooden Hull Championship was held on Wednesday the 7th October 2020 hosted by Tayside Radio Sailing Club at Forfar Loch, the home of Forfar Sailing Club. The event had been postponed from the previous Saturday due to an amber weather warning for extremely heavy rain (a month’s rain in 2 days), bad road conditions with flooding and a very light (almost non-existent) northerly wind.
A consequence of the torrential rain was it had raised the water level by almost a meter and hence the launching jetties were completely covered in water. A portable jetty was deployed to make launch and recovery possible without getting wet feet albeit with one person on it at a time. (NB Learning: securely tie the jetty to the bank … it started floating away with a skipper on board!) The low autumnal sun was very welcome although the bright reflection off the water was frequently another challenge for skippers.
As in previous years the event attracted a good number of Scottish-based skippers with their beautifully home-built wood planked IOMs, some by recognised designers and others self-designed.
The racing was run under the MYA Scottish District COVID-19 ‘field of play bubble’ protocol with the skippers standing at markers 3m apart and the race team 3m behind them.
Although standing in one spot does bring its own challenges with the boats further away than normal at times, it does allow events and club sailing to take place during these times of restrictions.
The racing commenced at 10.00 in a moderate westerly with all skippers choosing their A rig. As per the forecast, after a couple of races the wind increased to the top of A rig testing both heavy weather sailing skills and rig strength. Consequently, everyone changed down to B rig which they stayed with for the remaining races. Forfar Loch lived up to its reputation for providing top class sailing conditions with its wide open waters giving close racing in a true breeze and big waves.
Skippers enjoyed boats moving very quickly in the strong wind and trying to make fine judgements whilst dealing with the low sun reflecting off the water and having to stand in one place when the boats were quite distant. However, wind shifts were there to use as well. Most skippers had some issues to overcome and in a very competitive fleet it was difficult to come back from even the smallest mistake. All of these factors made for a great day’s sailing.
Ian Dundas sailing his new Corbie 6 (Sail # 38) came out on top as a worthy winner after 17 races by a single point from Tich Summers sailing his self-designed Buzz 3 (Sail # 07). Similarly, there was a tight finish with a single point separating third place (Richard Rowan sailing an Alternative, Sail # 85) and fourth (John Owens sailing a Corbie 5, Sail # 33).
Credit must go to the race team led by RO Boyd Baird for running a first class event and making the bold decision to postpone until a date when the forecast was already known to be perfect for radio sailing.
(Report: Brian Summers, Photos: Brian Summers/David Williams)