The Thursday night series continues to be very well attended and many junior members are gaining good positions. Last week some very young members were taking the leading positions. Ethan Dawson aged 8 sailing with dad Robin and Robert Cruickshank aged 6 sailing with dad Julian both tied for first place once the handicap was calculated. This series is going to be closely fought for a few weeks to come.
The weekend saw a variety of races with strong sailing in all fleets. In the GP 14 fleet three couples were in the winning places in all the races over the weekend. On Saturday’s spring cup Mike Fairlamb and Eric Smith were first, Hugh Godfrey and Rhonwen Bryce second and Val and Ken Bell third. Hugh Godfrey and Rhonwen Bryce are leading the series overall. On Sunday Hugh Godfrey and Rhonwen Bryce were first, Mike Fairlamb and Eric Smith were second and Val and Ken Bell third, overall Mike Fairlamb and Eric Smith are leading the Mustard pot series. In the handicap fleet on Saturday Rory Yardley first, Mike Moore second and Neil and Judith Currie third. On Sunday the handicap fleet were sailing for the Dodd trophy first was Mike Moore , Neil and Judith Currie second and Mark Somerville third. Sunday afternoon was a race around the lake for the RNLI pennant. With sunny skies and a consistent wind many sailors enjoyed the views from around the lake. Mike Moore was first to cross the line with Jack and Joan Hardie second and Mike Fairlamb and Eric Smith third. The handicaps are still to be calculated for the final positions, and word has it they may have been subject to protest!
A warm southerly breeze greeted sailors this afternoon for the second race in the Celebrity Glass Pursuit series. The races are sailed on a fleet handicap basis whereby the slowest fleet sets off first and then the faster fleets start at timed intervals based on Portsmouth yardstick. The start times were adjusted to allow for a 70 min race for the mirror fleet. So when the first warning signal was made, Mike Moore and William Carruthers started to think about getting their boats ready for the water as they had 24 and 28 mins respectively until their starts! When William and Jonathan got onto the water they decided to check the gennaker was rigged correctly – just as well because the downhaul was wrapped around it causing it to fly in the shape of a wine glass. They opted to try and resolve it on the water, which they did, but by which time they some distance from the start line with only 4 mins until their start so they hardened up, headed for the line and made it with 15 secs to spare! With the first mark being at Scarness it was to be quite a long beat in strengthening winds.
As time passed, William in his RS400 and Neil Garrison in his Dart closed the gap with the leaders and passed several boats on the exciting reaches, but Hugh and Rhonwen managed to keep the lead from Mike and Eric. Neil Garrison secured a third, and Mike held off William on the final couple of legs.
With having an initial beat into Scarness and then a smaller general lap in the bay, the windward mark proved interesting and challenging as the fleet had to loop around it – there were a couple of capsizes and several near misses!
The 2nd race started off in lighter airs with a beat to Scarness again, but as the fleet sailed deeper into the main bay the wind eased and swung and it seemed a great struggle to even complete the lap. But the OD must have smelt something in the air because just after lead boat Neil and Judith Currie crossed through YZ on the start of the 2nd beat the wind started to fill in from the SW, and Neil promptly put up his gennaker and started to build a substantial lead from William. The wind continued to fill in, and William, having held a higher course, eventually flew his gennaker. In the short time it seemed to take to get to 7, Neil’s lead had been eroded and William was on his tail. However, the positions did not change after that and when the results were calculated it was to be Rory Yardley in a Vareo that won ahead of Mike Moore.
In the GPs, Val and Ken Bell were ahead of the fleet in the bay until the cruel shifts as the wind swung to the SW enabled Hugh and Mike to break through.