First Arran Series 2015 – Race Report

Arran mountains behind ButeThe first pursuit race of the Arran Series took place in fairly challenging conditions last Thursday. The snow on Arran may have looked pretty but gave a clue to just how cold it was.

There was a definite advantage to being one of the slower boats in the fleet as this dubious honour meant  you got to set off early while conditions were still fairly good. Fiona Mackay, sailing one of the Club’s Toppers, was off first followed four minutes later by Katana. By the end of the second leg Katana had made up the deficit and just managed to break the overlap in time to round the mark clear ahead. Back over at the start the faster boats in the fleet were jockeying for position as, one by one, their start times approached. Despite starting two minutes ahead, Gimcrack was soon overtaken by Alasdair McLean’s Laser which in turn was being closely pursued by Alasdair Finlay in his Moody 336, Saorsa. By this time however the gentle breeze that had been around at the start was rapidly vanishing. With multiple wind shifts and holes in the wind appearing all around it took full concentration to keep the boats moving. With 20 minutes of the race remaining, the ominous black clouds which had been hanging over the Toward hills finally arrived. With them came a significant increase in wind speed not to mention some fierce squalls with just a hint of sleet in them. Racing down the Toward shore Fiona,  making the most of the conditions, even managing to get the little Topper up on the plane. As a result the Topper would fly past the keelboat before dropping back again as each squall passed. As the clouds moved away conditions settled again leaving behind a pleasant wind and beautiful sunset in which to finish the race. Unfortunately this came just too late for the late starters leaving Fiona to finish a few boat lengths ahead of Katana with the Laser in third still some way behind.


Arran 1

1st Topper, F. Mackay
2nd Katana (Cutlass 27), F. McLean
3rd Nae Loser (Laser), A. McLean
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