Despite a bitterly cold forecast there was a good turnout for the second event in the North East Clubs winter series. Four local skippers were joined by 3 visitors from the Brechin and 3 from the Buchanness clubs. The hard frost overnight had left ice on the fringe of the reservoir but the race area was clear and with sunny skies and a light wind of 5 knots from the west, it promised to be a good days sailing.
Race Officer Ian Dundas assisted by his Breton crew of Jean and Corentin Guenec and Yannick Le Nours set a long starboard hand Olympic course.
RYGG handicap was used with 6 skippers starting on scratch. Racing commenced promptly at 11am and ran through until 3pm using the “3 and a break” format. After lunch the course was adjusted to port hand rounding and lengthened to take best advantage of good beating conditions. The wind died towards the end making for some interesting strategies from skippers searching for the better puffs and shifts.
10 races were completed. The Red and Yellow handicap sailors held off the challenges of the Scratch sailors in the first three races with Peter Lowe getting 2 wins with the club TS2 and Shakey getting a win with his Stealth. As the wind dropped the more experienced skippers came through with Colin Brown and Ali Law splitting the other 7 races 4 and 3. Colin Tait, returning to R/C sailing after the summer in dinghy’s, was regularly at the front as was Boyd Baird and Ralph Knowles. Ken Ewan and Mel Percival improved as the day progressed as they searched for the boat tune to suit the conditions and the best route up the beat.
In the end the overall winner was Colin Brown with his Italiko who stayed in the top three all day.
Final positions were:
Brechin was the place to be on Sun 23rd – while it was p….sing down all day in Aberdeen and Dundee, we had a dry overcast day with a light NE wind at Brechin. Ten modern fast IOM’s entered with Skippers from all three of the North East Clubs. The Rygged Handicap system as modified by Brechin was used but as you would expect most of the Skippers were off scratch. At the end of the day, one handicap boat had got four seconds so the system seems to work.
The NE wind allowed a long beat down the full length of the pond but often the boats were so close there was a pile up at the windward mark. However, the long reaches back down the pond sorted them out and there was generally no trouble at the leeward marks. Shaky Bill had leaking problems with his new Stealth and Ali (non shaky) had servo failure changing two before he got going. Colin Brown was unbeatable from the start, he never did a thing wrong, the points gap shows this but it was Italico weather (if the others need an excuse).
Race officer Boyd thanked his assistants Ian Hotson, Grant Cuthbert and Club President Andrew Haxon.
Final positions were:
|6||Murray Hackney||Brechin||3 Dogs||87|
|7||Jimmy Rodgers||Brechin||3 Dogs||107|
North East Scotland / South West England Clubs IOM Invitation Event Peterhead and Aberdeen 1st and 2nd October 2005
Following on from friendships established at UK ranking events, the North East of Scotland skippers extended an invitation to the South West District skippers to come up and join them for a weekend of club racing. The event was intended to be based around good club racing, good fun and some good Scottish hospitality to justify the long trip for the visitors. To add numbers the North East clubs extended their invitation to other Scottish clubs making it an inter-district event.
The format of the weekend was to sail at Peterhead on the Saturday and Aberdeen on the Sunday with a dinner for all on Saturday night.
To add a bit of purpose to the sailing a Trophy in the form of a silver “Quaich” ( Scottish drinking cup ) was to play for between the local skippers and the visitors. The winning team would be the one with the lowest average score over the 2 days counting the scores of all their participants. No individual prizes would be awarded to the top guns but a “Man ( person) of the match” award would to be given to the most deserving skipper on each day.
Four stalwarts came up from the South West for the Peterhead event – Trevor Bamforth, Bob Conner, Sarah Conner and Alan Chidgey, duly accompanied by their cheerleader Sue Conner. They were joined by 7 local skippers and 2 visitors from Paisley – Richard Rowan and Bruce Davidson.
The event kicked off on Saturday at Peterhead with typical Peterhead (Scottish) weather conditions – ie wind strength well up to the top end of No 2 rig and cold. Alistair Struthers OOD set good long courses and kept racing running smoothly over the day. During lunch the wind continued to strengthen and all skippers moved onto No 3 rig. This rig change took some time for the visitors as they had not used this rig very often ! Along with the wind came the rain and for a few races it was pretty grim. If the racing had not been so close and enjoyable some skippers would have called it a day. The sun came back just at the end of the afternoon with 13 races sailed.
Ali Law was devastating on his home water with 6 firsts, Trevor Balmforth managed 3 wins, Ian Dundas 2, Richard Rowan got 1 as did Robbie Buchan who we were all pleased to see back racing after a long illness. With the severe conditions only 2 skippers escaped the dnf/dns syndrome – Ken Ewen and Trevor Bamforth. Brian Robertson had a good day finishing in 6th just ahead of Bob Conner.
Average team results at the end of Day 1 were Locals 6.6 Visitors 7.6.
Man / Person of the Match went to the two youngest participants Sarah Conner and Peter Fowlie who doggedly continued despite the severe conditions and were always in good humour.
All left the reservoir damp but feeling positive about this inter district invitation event which had produced very close racing.
Socialising on Saturday evening
click for larger picture
Dinner on Saturday evening was held at the Lairhillock Inn with many wives coming along to join in the fun. The South West Team were presented with Scottish “Tammies” or “Hey Jimmy” hats which they vowed they would all wear on the Sunday. It was also announced that another keen ( very very keen / mad) skipper was on his way north. Nick Martin had called off due to work commitments but on Saturday he could not stand the disappointment so he got in his car and drove the 500 miles to join us arriving at Lairhillock just in time for dessert !
Disaster on Sunday – the water level at the Aberdeen reservoir had reduced to levels that risked having weed ! The event was therefore moved back to Peterhead which meant an hours drive for everyone but there was guaranteed good water and wind. The SW Team kept their promise and wore their tartan tammies. Alistair Struthers once again officiated as OOD.
The wind stayed on No 1 rig conditions all day and skippers were treated to even closer racing than on Saturday. Ian decided to sail his wooden boat as Trevor had produced the initial lines. Ali decided to sail Ian’s Stealth as a mark of respect for Trevor who had designed the boat and made the sails.
A big smile was on Ali`s face after he won 6 of the first 7 races proving that either the Stealth is a good boat with bad skippers or Ali is a good skipper with bad boats ? Racing was very close and several places could be gained or lost right up to the finish line. Richard Rowan eventually got back into his usual groove and at the end of the day was counting firsts and seconds to win by one point ahead of Ali. Bruce Davidson sailed his Italiko very well into 3rd two points ahead of Trevor Bamforth. Ian`s woody made it to 5th ahead of Nick (Jeremy Clarkson) Martin. The rest of the SW Team had improved but not enough to take the “Quaich” out of the hands of the local team.
Day 2 average team scores were Locals 6.2 Visitors 6.8
Man of the Match went to Nick Martin who took home a local blended malt from Bennachie in recognition of his commitment to the event.
The Overall Score for the weekend was Locals 6.4 Visitors 7.2
The real winner was club racing and the friendships that were established between competitors. It is hoped that a reciprocal event will be held in the South West in 2006.
|North East team|
|South West team|