Scottish Area Championship
26 September - 27 September
St Mary's Loch Sailing Club
Scottish Area Championship at St Mary’s Loch Sailing Club.
This event, the final in the Scottish Bluebell series was recently moved to St Mary’s Loch SC due to Forfar being clogged up with weed, attracted eleven boats and was held in warm sunshine and light to moderate Southerly wind over the weekend of 26th/27th September 2015.
The first race started promptly at 2pm. Charles Morrish crewed by Alison Robertson Morrish (St Mary’s Loch SC) started at the pin end and led the fleet away, followed by Paul Young crewed by Caroline Gold (Midland SC/St Mary’s SC) and Peter Middlemiss crewed by daughter Rachel (Tynemouth SC) and also Richard and Maureen Denny (Beccles Amateur SC) close behind. All these boats exchanged places several times during the race. At the finish Charles and Alison were first, Paul and Caroline second, with Richard and Maureen third and Peter and Rachel fourth.
The second race was sailed back to back with the first. This time Paul and Caroline started near the pin end and led the race from start to finish. Charles and Alison started to leeward of Paul and Caroline but unfortunately strayed too close to the left hand shore and picked up some weed slowing them down. John Berry crewed by Neil Bawden (Etherow SC/South Staffs SC) rounded the windward mark second but hit mark two and whilst completing their penalty turn obstructed Richard and Maureen resulting in a 720 penalty . These turns dropped them to last place, however John and Neil got their act together and eventually finished this race in third place. Richard and Maureen finished second with Paul and Caroline sailing well to win this race by a considerable margin.
Sunday dawned with fog and no wind. However the sun soon came out and burnt off the fog but it took a while for the breeze to settle and race three started after a one hour postponement. The race started in a gentle force two which built throughout the race. Richard and Maureen started well and led the race at a busy first mark. Behind there were several placing changes between Paul and Caroline, Charles and Alison and John and Neil, however it soon settled down with Richard and Maureen first, Paul and Caroline second and Charles and Alison third. These positions were held to the finish.
Race four was sailed back to back with race three on a larger course and a slightly stronger breeze. Richard and Maureen rounded the first windward mark in the lead with John and Neil second and Paul and Caroline close behind. Whilst Richard and Maureen built a lead Peter and Rachel and also Lorry Young crewed by Ali Boyd (St Marys Loch SC) also closed up and joined Paul and Caroline and John and Neil in a great four way battle. On the penultimate beat Paul and Caroline got their act together to gain second place, over the last lap pulling out some distance on third place. On an exciting last beat Paul and Caroline closed down significantly on Richard and Maureen, who held their nerve to win their second race of the day. Paul and Caroline were second again with John and Neil third and Lorry and Ali fourth.
An excellent Lunch was now served.
This left the outcome of the Area championship resting on whether Paul and Caroline could win the fifth and final race.
Paul and Caroline started near the shore end of the line with Charles and Alison to windward. Paul and Caroline were the first of the boats to tack on to port and clear the whole fleet except both Richard and Maureen and also Phil Harrison crewed by Karen Alexander (Midland SC/South Staffs SC) who had both started at the other end tacking also immediately onto port for a short while and then returning to starboard getting a huge lift to round the first windward mark first and second respectively. Paul and Caroline rounded third a little way behind. These three boats soon pulled away from the rest of the fleet. Richard and Maureen continued to lead until the last long reach when Phil and Karen sailed over the top of them. Paul and Caroline also closed up with all three boats starting the last beat together. Phil and Karen held the lead up the final beat until Richard and Maureen passed them by going further to the right. Paul and Caroline despite their best efforts closed up on the two leaders but could not do better than third in this race. Richard and Maureen won their third race of the day, with an excited Phil and Karen in a well deserved second place.
Winning helm Richard Denny thanked everyone at St Mary’s Loch Sailing club who put on this event at short notice and for all the other competitors for a great weekend both on and off the water.
See results table here.
Overall Scottish Bluebell Trophy 2015 Results here.