Once again there was a brisk breeze on Thursday night as keelboats and dinghies gathered for the start of the third race in the Cumbrae series. There was a welcome return for Gimcrack which, after a long absence, was soon in the thick of it on the start line only just avoiding the stern of Katana. Keeping out of trouble, and getting a flying start, was Saorsa closely followed by Ellie’s Pico and Optimistic Oppi.
Making the most of their clean start Saorsa went on to extend their lead. On the second leg Gimcrack decided on different tactics from the other keelboats who all gooswinged their way to the Toward mark. Unfortunately this proved their undoing allowing Banshee to move into second place. As the race progressed Saorsa’s lead slowly began to shorten and despite still being some way ahead at the finish, when the handicaps were applied it was Banshee who came out the winner. In the dinghy fleet Ellie capitalised on her good start staying well ahead of the others. By the final leg, Tom was closing the gap however the race ended with Ellie still in the lead while Macy in her Oppi had done enough to hold on to second place on handicap.
Cumbrae 3 Keelboats
1st Banshee (Oyster 26), K. McDonald
2nd Saorsa (Moody 336), A. Finlay
3rd Gimcrack (GK24), D. Hillhouse
1st Pico, E. Judd
2nd Optimistic Oppi, M. Law
3rd Pico, T. McCrossan
Saturday and Sunday were two of the busiest days at the club with the annual regatta taking place. With classes for keelboats, fast and slow handicap dinghies and Flying Fifteens the race committee and safety boats were kept busy trying to keep track of everyone in what proved to be quite trying conditions. On the Saturday the keelboats set off for their longest race of the weekend while the dinghies fitted in two races in the same time. With a large spread of handicaps amongst the keelboats it was Nathan Forrester’s Etchells, Gelert, which led the way leaving everyone else in their wake.
The situation was similar in the fast handicap dinghy class with the Merlin Rocket of Alastair and Bernadette McMillan leading the way, although on handicap it was Callum McMillan’s Flying Fifteen that came out on top.
There was more of a level playing field in the slow handicap class with the Picos and Toppers sailing off the same handicap. Kriss Baird-Dean’s Topper Purple Pixie led the way in both races while Ellie followed close behind in her Pico. Third places were shared by Tom McCrossan in a Pico and Euan McMillan from Bute in a Topper.
The following morning the sailors were met with wet and very windy conditions. So much so that the Bute boats decided it would be wise to stay at home. Conditions were such that, in the morning, only the keelboats were allowed to race and even then only two went on to complete the course. By the afternoon conditions had improved slightly and, although the wind was forecast to increase again, the race committee took advantage of the favourable weather window to fit in another race for anyone who wanted to sail. Again it was the Etchells that dominated the keelboat class while in the slow handicap dinghies it was Ellie who took first place comfortably ahead of Kriss with Graham Bains putting in an impressive performance to finish third.
1st Gelert (Etchells), N. Forester, Royal Gourock YC
2nd Banshee (Oyster 26), R. Campbell, Toward SC
3rd Voila (First 29), D. Lyons, Toward SC
Fast Handicap Dinghies/Flying Fifteens
1st Ffire Bolt (Flying Fifteen), C. McMillan, IoBSC
2nd Mango-Tango (Merlin Rocket), A. McMillan, IoBSC
3rd Gentle Maid (Flying Fifteen), R. McTaggart, IoBSC
Slow Handicap Dinghies
1st Purple Pixie (Topper), K. Baird-Dean, Toward SC
2nd Pico, E. Judd, Toward SC
3rd Topper, E. McMillan, IoBSC
Overall Best Senior – N. Forrester
Overall Best Junior – E. Judd