Crew’s Race / Round Cumbrae – Race Report

Crews Race

No wind and adriftThe Crews Race, the annual race where the crew has a go at Helm, took place last Thursday night (13 Aug 2015).

Only 2 Keel boats were brave enough to let their crew loose on the waves this time. Saorsa and Gimcrack headed out on a fine evening with light winds and sunshine. Gimcrack had the lead early on and being a smaller craft managed to hold on to the lead right through to the wind dropping completely. Saorsa failed to finish with the total lack of wind.

Meanwhile the Dinghies that went out were having similar problems. A nice breeze saw all 3 round the first 2 marks, thereafter it was a pleasant evening drift with the seal’s and porpoises for company! A nice night to be on the water, rubbish for racing! Purple Pixie finished the slow handicap race leaving Mayfly and Stacey to drift in having not finished.

Round Cumbrae

On Saturday 15 Aug 2015 the Round Cumbrae race took place with a good turnout of 5 Yachts taking part including 2 visitors from Bute, Alan Marshall with Parallel Motion and Robin Taylor with Avanti Mhor. The race was set for good weather and fine winds of F2-3 from the west. However, upon starting the race, heavy squalls came in and 30mph gusts were recorded by Alastair Lennie on Chantilly. However, the squalls soon passed and a pleasant sail was undertaken round Cumbrae Island. Saorsa and Parallel Motion came round the island first and had a good race to the finish.

Parallel Motion pipped Saorsa to the winning post in just over 3hours. Following on around 45 minutes later were Gimcrack and Avanti Mhor. Gimcrack took a line close in to shore giving her an advantage on the finishing tack to give her 3rd place over Avanti Mhor after corrected time. Chantilly had become becalmed on the other side of Cumbrae and consequently abandoned the race to a pleasant sail back to Holy Loch!


Round Cumbrae
1st Parallel Motion (Alan Marshall)
2nd Saorsa (Alasdair Finlay)
3rd Gimcrack (Douglas Hillhouse)
4th Avanti Mhor (Robin Taylor)


Bute 6 Series – Race Report

Would you believe it? Summer-like conditions two weeks in a row for racing at Toward! Sun and a pleasant 8mph breeze saw a reduced fleet line up for the start of the final race in the Bute Series.

Having spent the previous training evening discussing how to tactically apply the rules of racing, Kriss Baird-Dean in her still-shiny new Topper showed everyone else how it should be done by getting by far the best start of the entire fleet. Saorsa, on the other hand, illustrated why starting on a port tack can be a risky manoeuvre.

Once again the boats stretched out according to handicap, and with the westerly wind dropping as the sun went down, it was a prudent decision by the Race Officer to shorten the race to one round for the slow handicap class and two rounds for the fast ones. Having recovered from their slightly fraught start, Saorsa went on to record their second win of the series just over a minute ahead of Jan Oliver’s Mayfly.

In the end this proved to be a crucial result as both boats finished the series on 14 points. This meant when the ‘most firsts’ rule was applied it was Saorsa who took the series. A third place for Dave Baird-Dean consolidated his consistent performance throughout the series giving him third place overall.

Fast Handicap
1st Saorsa (Moody 336), A. Finlay
2nd Mayfly (Laser radial), J. Oliver
3rd Stacey (Comet), D. Baird-Dean
Slow Handicap
1st Purple Pixie (Topper), K. Baird-Dean


Bute 5 Series – Race Report

Bute 5The penultimate race in the Bute Series began in a pleasant Force 3 westerly which, as is always the way, gradually dropped throughout the evening. Once again Saorsa took the lead closely followed by John Orr’s Contender, although by the second mark these two boats had swapped places. This was how it remained throughout the race with both boats continuing to extend their lead over the rest of the fleet. Back in the pack the Comet, Cutlass and Laser Radial passed and re-passed each other until the dropping wind gave the advantage to the lighter dinghies. Unfortunately, at the end of the second round, the Laser passed the ‘S’ mark on the wrong side and was subsequently DQ’d by the eagle eyed race officer. Meanwhile Dave Baird-Dean in the Comet made the most of the lightening conditions to squeeze Gimcrack out of the third place slot by a mere eight seconds on corrected time. The only boat in the slow handicap class was Kriss in her shiny new purple Topper with its shiny new purple and white sail. Despite being some way behind the rest of the fleet she seemed quite happy to be able to give her new boat an outing and was rewarded with a first in her class.


Fast Handicap
1st Dr Feelgood (Contender), J. Orr
2nd Saorsa (Moody 336), A. Finlay
3rd Stacey (Comet), D. Baird-Dean
Slow Handicap
1st  Purple Pixie (Topper), K. Baird-Dean

Bute 4 Series Race Report

Summer finally arrived at Toward on Thursday evening for the fourth race in the Bute Series. Sunshine, which was almost warm, accompanied by a good breeze enabled the fast handicap boats to complete all three rounds of the course while the slow handicap ones completed the requisite two rounds. At the first mark Saorsa was first round closely followed by Dr Feelgood and by the second mark the fleet had stretched out more or less according to handicap. This is how it stayed until the end of the race although once the handicaps were applied it was Saorsa who won by a mere 45 seconds. A steady race from Alasdair McLean in his Laser gave him third place both on the water and on handicap, putting him well in contention for the series.


Bute 4

1st Saorsa (Moody 336), A. Finlay
2nd Dr Feelgood (Contender), J. Orr
3rd Nae Loser (Laser), A. McLean


Bute 3 Series – Race Report

Wild and Windy at Toward

TSC SailingThe 3rd race of the Bute series got underway to plenty of wild weather on Thursday night with a strong easterly wind whipping up the waves! 5 dinghies and 1 Keel boat were the brave souls who decided to give it a try, only 4 finished!

Of the 2 that retired 1 was brave Sandie Stuart only out on his 2nd race! He made it to the start line but decided that conditions were too much for the little Oppie and headed in. But well done to Sandie for giving it a try! Meanwhile Fiona MacKay and Isaac Lines made a good attempt at starting with Fiona’s 29er but even these 2 seasoned sailors found conditions too trying for the 29er and spent more time in the water than on the boat! They also retired after several dips in the water much to the relief of the safety boat crew! The remaining 4 set off from the start with Simon Howard in Serendipity and Alistair McLean in his Laser getting well ahead of Dave Baird-Dean in his Comet “Stacey” and Eland Stuart in a Club Pico.

TSC SailingThereafter the race was in two parts between the front 2 contenders and the 2 at the rear. Simon Howard and Alistair McLean furiously trying to stay ahead of each other were almost a whole section in front of the rear 2 racers when the Race Officer decided to shorten the course due to worsening conditions. Serendipity crossed the line first but Alistair McLean won the race on handicap adjustment. Meanwhile at the rear of the field Dave Baird-Dean and Eland Stuart struggled to get round the final T mark, both capsizing several times on the way back to the finish line with Dave Baird-Dean spending precious minutes retrieving his hat! Eventually both bravely finished what had been an exhausting but invigorating race!

Bute 2 Series – Race Report

The second race in the Bute Series turned into a test of everyone’s patience. The light wind which  had been blowing prior to the start quickly died resulting in Gimcrack, the fastest boat in the fleet, taking 45 minutes to reach the first mark. Initially the dinghies kept up well although Sandy Stuart in  his first ever race was finding that Oppies are not at their best in such light conditions. Meanwhile dad Eland, also making the transition from training to racing, initially kept up well with the much more experienced Topper, however two hours in a Pico isn’t much fun for anyone and he eventually threw in the towel.

With a two hour time limit on the race it was with just over 10 minutes to spare that Gimcrack finally crossed the line thus giving everyone else an additional 45 minutes to get round the course. This was just enough for both the Topper and Katana to get to the finish line. Unfortunately for Sandy, despite showing great tenacity, he was never going to finish in time so accepted a welcome tow back to the clubhouse.


Bute 2

1st Gimcrack (GK24), D. Hillhouse
2nd Cosmic Debris (Topper), K. Baird-Dean
3rd Katana (Cutlass 27), F. McLean


Cumbrae 5 Series – Race Report

In stark contrast to the glorious conditions of the previous week, Thursday night’s racers were greeted by little wind, heavy drizzle and poor visibility. As a result only three hardy dinghy sailors worked up the enthusiasm to actually go afloat. Fiona Mackay led the way in a club Topper while Dave Baird-Dean crept ahead of wife, Kriss. After a shortened course it was Fiona who finished first both on the water and on handicap while Kriss claimed second place after Dave took a wee detour to the wrong mark.

The annual Burnt Islands Race for keel boats took place on Saturday and it was the club’s own Ruairidh Campbell who held off Isle of Bute’s Alan Marshall to claim the silverware.


Cumbrae 5

1st Topper, F. Mackay
2nd Cosmic Debris (Topper), K. Baird-Dean
3rd Stacey (Comet), D. Baird-Dean

Burnt Islands Race

1st Voila, R. Campbell TSC
2nd Parallel Motion, A. Marshall IOBSC

Cumbrae 4 Series – Race Report

There were near perfect sailing conditions for the fourth race in the Cumbrae Series last Thursday evening. Both John Orr in his Contender and Alasdair Findlay in his Moody 336 got off to a good start and immediately led the way while at the other end of the fleet Katana, off her mooring for the first time in several weeks, brought up the rear.

With a steady breeze there were no changes in position as the boats sailed to their various handicaps. By the end Saorsa had extended her lead by taking the inshore tack to the Ardyne mark while John’s offshore route saw him drop back a considerable way.

As is always the way, the westerly wind dropped as the evening went on, causing the slower boats to fall further behind. In this series there is some consolation however as handicaps are adjusted after each race and those penalised by the falling breeze will be recompensed with a more generous handicap next week.


Cumbrae 4

1st Saorsa (Moody 336), A. Finlay
2nd Stacey (Comet), D. Baird-Dean
3rd Dr Feelgood (Contender), J. Orr

TSC Regatta 2015 – Race Report

TSC Regatta 2015It was a wild and windy weekend at Toward for the Club’s annual regatta. With the forecast for Saturday being particularly poor the decision was taken to abandon any thoughts of trying to run the first race of the weekend, while fingers were firmly crossed that Sunday would be better. Luck was in and, although it was still fairly windy, a welcome appearance by the sun tempted out a hardy bunch of sailors. With discretion being the better part of valour several competitors decided to down-size, abandoning their own boats and jumping into the club’s training boats.

DSCN4003In the race for keelboats and Flying Fifteens it was Roddy McTaggart from IOBSC that had the outstanding sail of the morning keeping pace with both Alasdair Finlay in his Moody 336, Saorsa and Ruairidh Campbell’s Voila. These three boats led the way throughout, extending their lead as the race went on. In the end the morning’s race was won by Saorsa by a fairly narrow margin over Voila.

In the dinghy class, of the seven starters only four recorded a finish. With two premature starters and one failing to finish it was Alasdair McLean in a club Topper who picked up the points with Bute’s Yasmin Price sailing a stormer to finish second in her Oppi, Wave Dancer.

Toward Sailing Club SCIO Regatta 2015Conditions changed little in the afternoon and once again the battle for the lead amongst the keelboats was between Saorsa and Voila. On this occasion the places were reversed which, when the last race rule was applied, saw the silverware go to Voila despite being on equal points with Saorsa. There was a similar situation between Simon Howard’s Serendipity and Douglas Hillhous’s Gimcrack with third place going to Serendipity.

The dingy fleet again battled the conditions with Fiona Mackay in a club Pico showing everyone how it should be done.

TSC Regatta 2015She and her crew took the lead from the start and by the end of the course had a massive lead over her nearest rival. At the end of the day it was consistency that paid off, and with a first and a second it was Alasdair McLean who claimed the silverware.

This year the Club also hosted one leg of the Skiff Travellers Series. In this event the conditions proved too much for some while being a delight for others. This class also went to countback for third place while Jonno Shelley finished first.



Inaugural Trophy for Handicap Keelboats

Position Name
1st Voila, R. Campbell TSC
2nd Saorsa, A. Finlay TSC
3rd Serendipity, S. Howard TSC

Piper Trophy for Flying Fifteens

Position Name
1st Gentle Maid, R. McTaggart IOBSC
2nd Effortless, A. Marshall, IOBSC

Royal Bar Trophy for slow handicap dinghies

Position Name
1st Topper, A. McLean TSC
2nd Cosmic Debris, K. Baird-Dean TSC
3rd Wave Dancer, Y. Price IOBSC

Skiff Class

Position Name
1st Jonno Shelley IOBSC
2nd N. Towart HLSC
3rd K. Holliday

Royal Bar Shield for the best overall performance by a senior

Position Name
1st R. McTaggart IOBSC

Gleaner Quaich for the best overall performance by a junior

Position Name
1st Y. Price IOBSC

TSC Regatta Winners 2015

Cumbrae 1 Series – Race Report

There was a good breeze for the first race in the Cumbrae series and, for the first time in a long while, dinghies outnumbered keelboats on the start line. With a minute to go Fiona Mackay had parked her club Topper firmly on the start line and as the lights went out she got off to a flying start with Dave Baird-Dean’s Comet close behind. Despite having given away many metres at the start it wasn’t long before Saorsa with Alasdair Finlay on the helm and John Orr in his Contender overhauled the rest of the fleet to take the lead.

Close together, John led the way until a capsize just before the second mark handed the lead to Saorsa. By this time the remainder of the fleet had stretched out according to handicap and the only change there throughout the race was Fiona’s Topper getting ahead of the Comet. Meanwhile, back at the front, Saorsa was doing a good job of staying ahead of the Contender until, two legs later, John finally managed to regain the lead. Unfortunately a second capsize just before the Ardyne mark again reversed the positions and this was how it remained until the end of the race.

Once ashore, and with the handicaps applied, it was all change. Saorsa just managed to hang on to their win while Kriss Baird-Dean who had been 6th on the water found herself in second place a mere 40 seconds behind.


Cumbrae 1

1st Saorsa (Moody 336), A. Finlay
2nd Cosmic Debris (Topper), K. Baird-Dean
3rd Dr Feelgood (Contender), J. Orr