Sibling Rivalry: Girls Won; Boys Nil!
Despite pretty foul weather, it was a brave band of Cadets and not a single adult, apart from the safety boat crew, who turned out for the next in the midweek evening races in Kippford. Unusually the racers had a spectator fleet as several of the larger offshore yachts were moored on the Club pontoon enjoying a sumptuous evening meal aboard “Joy” while the Cadets launched into a strong wind and heavy rain.
Even before the start, Emily Biggar and Ben Ibbotson hit trouble, capsizing their 29er, the junior Olympic training boat, but once flag dropped, it was the all-girl crew of Philippa Howie and Louisa Birdsall who set off in the lead, beating down river into the Southerly wind. Not far behind their two brothers, James Howie and Charles Birdsall, were trying hard to keep the girls within striking distance and not far behind them, the youngest crew in the race, James Bishop and his sister, Katie were going well, all three crews in RS Feva class boats.
Once round the first turning mark, the Howie/Birdsall lads tried to raise their assymetric spinnaker in the hope of catching their sisters. It was never going to work! Completely out of control in the strong wind, they were nearly driven ashore and while getting sorted out it allowed the young Bishop crew up to second. Far from catching their sisters, Howie/Birdsall girls were now further ahead and while the boys retook their second place, all hope of catching the girls was gone. Meanwhile the Biggar / Ibbotson 29er retired before breaking anything, leaving the girls a clear win.
With conditions deteriorating, Race Officer Ian Purkis cancelled the second race so back to the Clubhouse for an early shower and well-deserved refreshments! The midweek series ends on 29th June and the Howie/Birdsall girls now hold a clear series lead.
Soon after first light next morning on the early tide, before most of Kippford was awake, the previous evening’s spectator fleet slipped their moorings and were off. Now windless and thankfully dry, they motored out and set course, heading to round the Mull and then up the West Coast. “Fair Winds” to them!