In glorious Spring sunshine, a good breeze and sparkling sea, the second day of Solway Yacht Club Championship races were held on Saturday. With the biggest turnout of the year so far, entrants ranged in age from the youngest cadet age 10 to one of the senior members, a little more than 7 times the age of the youngest! Age is no limit in the sport of sailing so long as you are competent in the boat you’re sailing. The handicap system ensures that everyone is racing on an equal basis.
Race 1 and the three larger Flying Fifteen keelboats set off with Scott Train and Anne Stewart immediately setting the pace. The second Flying Fifteen of Pete Hammond and John Sproat keeping ahead of Gordon Daly and Jane Gasgoigne were both going well, but with the leading Laser of Rhys Williams never far behind, it was going to be close. Further back a gaggle of Lasers included Finn Mitchell, Finlay Train, Duncan Blandford and Stewart Biggar all in close company some way ahead of Ian & Margaret Purkis in their Firefly. The leading cadets were James Howie and his crew in their RS Feva, but Emily Biggar was close behind in her slower rated Topper with Alex Lammie next up. Brave young Bruce Copeman was struggling with the wind strength but a capsize or two didn’t put him off!
Race 2 and this time the wind had dropped and that suited the Daly / Gasgoigne Flying Fifteen and while they couldn’t catch the Train/Stewart boat, they saw off Hammond/Sproat to even the honours on the day. Again, the Williams Laser was well up and the Purkis Firefly mixing it with the Lasers, things were looking good for their result until a mistake at the windwark mark on lap 2 saw them having to put in two extra tacks and so drop back. Further back and now it was Emily Biggar’s turn to lead the Cadets over the line, demoting the Howie RS Feva to second cadet finisher.
Results put the Train/Stewart Flying Fifteen first with the Williams Laser second in both races but Emily Biggar, doing consistently well, is leading the championship after completing all four races so far. Next weekend its Day 3 of the season long Championship series with everything to sail for!
Day 3 of the Club Championship races took place on Sunday the 27th of May. Again with beautiful late Spring Sunshine and slightly higher winds this time round, there was a great turnout from Cadets and adult members alike. Tactics definitely came into play in the first of two races, as the ever-switching wind became a major obstacle to overcome with gusts coming from seemingly every direction. Race one saw Stewart Mitchell finishing in 1st place, chased closely by Scott Train in his flying fifteen. Emily Bigger again led the Cadets, finishing 5th overall.
As Race Two began, the winds picked up significantly, with plenty of hiking out required. This time it was Scott Train finishing in 1st place, followed by Flying Fifteen duo Filer/Gascoigne. Although it made for a more exciting second race, the wind did result in a minor breakage on the second RS Feva sailed by James Howie and Charles Birdsall, forcing them to retire early. Regardless, the sunshine did make for a thoroughly enjoyable days sailing for all, with several more races still to count towards the final club Championship, with a few boats still competing for that top spot.