Cumbrae Series / Round Cumbrae Race Report

The final race in the Cumbrae series on Thursday night turned out to be a complete non-starter as the total absence of wind caused the race officer to cancel the race. Even the most optimistic competitor had to concede that this was definitely the right decision. With the series now concluded and the points totalled, the first series trophy of 2016 goes to Alasdair Finlay’s Saorsa.

Saturday’s conditions proved to be much more agreeable with a light breeze and sunshine giving a gentle start to the keelboats in the Round Cumbrae Race. For the first time this race had two start times in an attempt to bring the boats closer together at the finish. This appeared to work well as less than 20 minutes separated the first and last boats to cross the finish line. Once the handicaps were applied it was Gimcrack who, despite being the final finisher, came out well ahead. Only 80 seconds separated the second and third placed boats which, in a race lasting over 5 hours, is remarkable close.

While the big boats were away there was still racing at the club for the dinghies. The cadets took advantage of the benign conditions to take their Oppies around the buoys. On this occasion it was Ellie who triumphed ahead of Oscar.


Round Cumbrae Race

1st Gimcrack (GK24), D. Hillhouse, TSC

2nd Katana (Cutlass 27), A. Mulholland, TSC

3rd Parallel Motion, A. Marshall, IoBSC

Race Report – Cumbrae 1, Ailsa 3, Ailsa 4

Cumbrae 1 start It’s well known that any class of boat is welcome to race at Toward and this was well illustrated on Thursday night when 7 different classes took to the start line. An almost perfect start from Saorsa in the first race of the Cumbrae series saw the Moody 336 lead the fleet at the first mark almost a minute ahead of Fiona Mackay in her 29er. She was closely followed by the Laser, Nae Loser, then Banshee who squeezed inside Gimcrack as they rounded the mark.

The second leg allowed the 29er and Banshee to give their kites an airing. Despite the extra sail area Gimcrack passed Banshee and Saorsa held her lead. A broken tiller extension on the Laser forced an early retiral while an unrecoverable capsize by Kriss Baird-Dean in Purple Pixie saw the dinghy fleet reduced to two.

RIMG0010_800Saorsa proved to be untouchable and continued to extend her lead throughout the race eventually finishing four minutes ahead of her nearest rivals. Once the handicaps had been applied Saorsa was still the clear winner. Amongst the slow handicap boats the war of attrition left Ruairidh Pringle in a club Topper as the only survivor and therefore the winner.

Sunday morning dawned sunny and fairly warm with a pleasant easterly wind – perfect for the cadets. After last week’s stoorie conditions this was much more conducive to getting back to grips with the basics of boat handling. After 45 minutes afloat the cadets headed in for lunch. During this short break the wind shifted 180o and increased considerably in strength. By the time racing was due to start it was only the adults who took to the water. In a close fought first race it was Ruairidh Pringle who came out ahead while revenge was sweet for Eland Stuart who took the second one.


Cumbrae 1

Fast Handicap

1st Saorsa (Moody 336), A. Finlay

2nd Gimcrack (GK24), D. Hillhouse

3rd Banshee (Oyster 26), R. Campbell

Slow Handicap

1st Topper, R. Pringle

Ailsa 3

1st Topper, R. Pringle

2nd Pico, E. Stuart

Ailsa 4

1st Pico, E. Stuart

2 nd Topper, R. Pringle

Arran 2 / First Cruise Weekend

Arran 2

Freezing conditions and horizontal sleet on Thursday night at Toward was enough to put off even the most enthusiastic sailor. As a result, the safety boat crew were spared a chilly few hours afloat as no racing took place.

First Cruise

The first cruising event of the year started the season off with a bang! Sunshine, good breeze, great food and lots of laughs! Two keelboats decided to brave the elements. Saorsa and Banshee headed off on Saturday morning in sunny but extremely cold conditions.

“We headed South when we left the mooring on Saturday morning for a sail round Bute. It was a fast reach down to an anchorage for a lunchtime stop over. We then rounded the South tip of Bute to find the Clyde Cruising Club racing boats bearing down on us with their spinnakers up! That is way too much effort: we are cruising after all!
With a steady breeze we made it to Tighnabruaich in good time and then carried on at a gentle pace to wreck bay. Where we stayed overnight. The Saturday night social evening produced the usual impressive TSC party, as it went on well into Sunday morning!”

“Sunday started slowly, we cruised down the East Kyle and stopped over in Port Bannatyne for a late lunch. A big thank you to everyone who made it such a fantastic weekend!

The next cruise is on 11 & 12 June and is a cruise, kayak and camp. Give me a shout if you plan on bringing your boat or would like a berth or if you plan on paddling!”

Ruairidh Campbell.

Frostbite 2 Series – Race Report

Fantastic Frostbite Turnout!

11th October saw the 2nd race day for the Frostbite Series and this week the turn out didn’t disappoint! Two of last weeks intrepid Oppie sailors again turned up in the form of Ellie Judd and Oscar MacGillivray, and this time the weather was kind and permitted them to start! We had a good turnout of 9 dinghies on Sunday and although the weather was kind the wind was not playing!

A very light easterly saw the fleet set off on course 7 heading for the Toward race mark. The faster boats set a good pace with John Orr in Dr Feelgood and Jan Oliver in Mayfly well ahead, with Dave Baird-Dean in Stacey along with Alastair Gibson a good way behind them. There was quite a tidal pull as the tide was going out and several of the more in-experienced sailors had to change their course to allow for this, something they will soon learn at Toward! Kriss Baird-Dean in Purple Pixie had a bad start and never really found her pace. Beth and Connor Wilson bought up the rear of the field with Beth and Kriss having a little competition of their own to round the Ardyne mark and reach the finish. Ellie Judd and Oscar MacGillivray recorded their first finish in their first ever proper race at Toward, so huge congratulations to them! First place in the first race went to Jan Oliver beating John Orr into 2nd place on handicap, with a well-deserved 3rd place going to Alastair Gibson in the club topper.

The second race got under way with even less wind than the first enabling the faster boats to take a long lead. The top two places were reversed from the first race with John Orr coming in ahead of Jan Oliver with 3rd place taken by David Baird-Dean in Stacey. However, the race officer was, as last week, forced to shorten the course with the ever dropping wind speed.

It was fantastic to see so many people turn out for the dinghy racing at Toward and we hope they continue to do so in the remaining 2 races of the season, weather permitting!


1st Race
1st Jan Oliver – Mayfly
2nd John Orr – Dr Feelgood
3rd Alastair Gibson – Club Topper
2nd Race
1st John Orr – Dr Feelgood
2nd Jan Oliver – Mayfly
3rd David Baird-Dean – Stacey
1st Race Oppies
1st Ellie Judd – Club Oppie 6
2nd Oscar MacGillivray – Club Topper 1
2nd Race Oppies
1st Ellie Judd – Club Oppie 6
2nd Oscar MacGillivray – Club Topper 1

Frostbite 1 Series – Race Report

Frostbite Begins!

Sunday 4th October saw the first of the Frostbite Series take place at Toward Sailing Club. With the keel boats safely hauled out, the whole area was open for the dinghies to play in! It was good to see 4 of our Oppie cadets turn up to have a go at their first race on the big course! Unfortunately the conditions proved to be just too much for them and all 4 Oppies retired, some with mast problems. Hopefully they will come along for another go next week!

The rest of the field progressed to the start line. There was a moderate easterly breeze which was whipping up the waves making the going very choppy! Everyone got off to a good start in the first race with John Orr in Dr Feelgood taking the early lead which he maintained finishing well ahead of the rest of the field. Second and third place was fought out between Jan Oliver in Mayfly and Kriss Baird-Dean in Purple Pixie. It was a close call with both dinghies making good progress in the fresh breeze. However, both made for the wrong mark down towards the club house resulting in time loss for both helms as they corrected their course. In the end, despite finishing ahead, Jan Oliver & Mayfly were beaten into 3rd place by Kriss Baird-Dean and Purple Pixie who took 2nd place on handicap. Alastair Noble took 4th place in both races which was an excellent result for his first outing. Dave Baird-Dean and Rhuairidh Pringle both capsized in the trying conditions and also went round the marks the wrong way so both recorded DNF. Rhuairidh also had problems with a broken tiller extension which caused him to retire for the afternoon.

The Second race got underway to a significant drop in the wind resulting in John Orr and Jan Oliver getting well ahead of the rest of the competitors in their faster boats. The choppy conditions also eased somewhat making the second race a much slower affair. This was enough along with the cold temperature for the race officer to shorten the course. Everyone enjoyed the afternoon and the frostbite series got off to a great start!


1st Race
1st John Orr – Dr Feelgood
2nd Kriss Baird-Dean – Purple Pixie
3rd Jan Oliver – Mayfly
2nd Race
1st Jan Oliver – Mayfly
2nd John Orr – Dr Feelgood
3rd Kriss Baird-Dean – Purple Pixie