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.

RESULTS

Round Cumbrae Race

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

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

3rd Parallel Motion, A. Marshall, IoBSC

Cumbrae 5 – Race Report 2016

Right from the start, the penultimate race in the Cumbrae series was a bit of a drift. Twenty minutes after the starting gun only Saorsa and Gimcrack were heading in the right direction. Katana was drifting back from the line and towards the rocks forcing use of the engine and immediate retiral.

Meanwhile the dinghies, having crossed the line earlier, were recrossing it for a second or, in some cases, a third time. Once free from the magnetic attraction of the start mark the remaining two keelboats managed to catch just enough air to creep slowly around the course. These two boats finally finishing the substantially shortened course just as the tenacious dinghies eventually got going. In what was becoming a test of endurance for the race officer as well as the sailors the remaining boats finally made it to the finish, taking just under two hours to get round two marks.

Cumbrae 5
Fast Handicap
1st Saorsa (Moody 336), A. Finlay
2nd Gimcrack (GK 24), D. Hillhouse
3rd 29er, F. Mackay
Slow Handicap
1st Purple Pixie (Topper), K. Baird-Dean
2nd Stacey (Comet), D. Baird-Dean

 

Arran 1 Race Report

With the first pursuit race of the season getting under way in almost no wind it looked like it was going to be a long slow drift for the early starters. First off was Kriss Baird-Dean in her Topper, Purple Pixie pursued some minutes later by husband, Dave in his Comet, Stacey. Those who had checked the forecast were not surprised when the wind began to fill in and by the time Banshee, helmed by her new owner Ruairidh Campbell, and Saorsa crossed the start line some considerable time later a stiff breeze had filled in from the east. Purple Pixie did a sterling job at holding her lead before, on the seventh leg of the course, Stacey eventually managed to pass. As the wind continued to increase the advantage passed back to the Topper, and as Dave took the first swim of the season Kriss regained her lead. It was not long however before the keelboats made the most of the freshening conditions to catch then overtake all of the dinghies. Despite being short handed Saorsa went on to pull away from Banshee until a moment of brain freeze saw Saorsa heading to her mooring at the end of the written course. This allowed the two leading dinghies to retake the lead before the realisation dawned that in this race format the course is repeated until the predetermined finish time of 8.30pm. Despite their little detour Saorsa remained ahead of Banshee and soon managed to catch the dinghies once again. With gusts now reaching 30mph, what had begun as a gentle sail in the evening sunshine had now turned into a bit of a physical workout. When the lights signalling the end of the race finally came on, it was a welcome sight for the dinghies who had done well to keep going in the increasingly trying conditions.

RESULTS

Arran 1

1st Saorsa (Moody 336), A. Finlay

2nd Banshee (Oyster 26), R. Campbell

3rd Purple Pixie (Topper), K. Baird-Dean

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!

RESULTS

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!

RESULTS

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

Arran 6 Series – Race Report

DSCN9388The final Thursday night race of 2015 took place last week at Toward. Sunshine greeted the sailors for the last race in the Arran Series and, for once, the wind held throughout the race. Having already secured the series, Fiona Mackay decided to ditch the Topper and give her 29er a rare outing. Conditions proved testing for this tender boat and as a result several swimming sessions took place before the end of the race. The gusty conditions were also keeping everyone else on their toes, and with second and third places in the series still up for grabs there was no room for errors. Kriss, having set off first in her Topper, had established a lead of almost three legs before the next two boats started. A similar gap was established between them and the late starters before the handicaps gradually began to take effect. Katana, having passes the Pico before the first mark, eventually caught the Topper before herself being passed by Saorsa. Saorsa had in turn put a considerable amount of clear water between her and Gimcrack who was struggling in the stronger gusts. By the time the end of the race was signalled Saorsa was securely in the lead, a position which was enough to ensure second place in the series.

Away from the club, eight of Toward’s cadets headed to Holy Loch to take part in their annual regatta. In the Oppie class two firsts and a second ensured Lewis Oxland finished the weekend in first place ahead of Oliver and Rory in second and third respectively. In the Topper Class Beth Wilson finished a very credible second while brother Connor was forth. Well done to all of them in their first venture away from Toward.

RESULTS

Arran 6
1st Saorsa (Moody 336), A. Finlay
2nd Katana (Cutlass 27), F. McLean
3rd Purple Pixie (Topper), K. Baird-Dean
Arran Series
1st Topper, F. Mackay
2nd Saorsa (Moody 336), A. Finlay
3rd Gimcrack (GK24), D. Hillhouse