Report on the RNCYC Regatta
incorporating the Lomond School 40th Anniversary Regatta.
19th-20th August 2017
The regatta was held over two days, the plan being to have Sonars, Handicap class 1, and a white sail class racing on both days, with the Pipers and Garelochs coming out to join the event on Sunday. The cruising boats were to have one longer race and the one design classes, three short races a day. The start time of midday allowed for a relaxed morning before racing. The Regatta Challenge, a competition allowing those with no racing insurance to take part, was run over both days and was open to everyone, who could get on the water, use their eyes and some skill and inventiveness with phone cameras.
Saturday dawned a wild, wet and windy day, with the forecast showing the wind increasing in the afternoon with gust up to 28 knots. The yachts Rajah and Wildfire both with large, young and inexperienced crews voted to come out and have a yacht about, but not to take part. Kiri decided the weather was not suitable for white sail racing. However a fleet of 8 of our 9 Sonars turned out to compete. The Committee Vessel (CV) Kariba, with Simon Pender as Race Officer (RO) and his team, and Theo Hoole with Laura Ross as rib support, headed out to the race area. The SW wind was kicking up a sea so it was decided that 3 short races in the shelter of the Rosneath Peninsular would be the best option. The racing was very competitive with tightly fought starts, but Arrow showed her dominance with 3 firsts. Could this be anything to do with the fact that she had her hull cleaned or was it superior skill in heavy weather we ask ourselves? (The class decision had been not to clean the boats). Rumour had it that Siglette was also cleaner than she might have been expected to be!
In the first race there was some evidence of new crew mixes and lack of experience causing problems, Charlotte had some spinnaker issues demonstrating better fishing than spinnaker flying skills. Prelude with her crew of experienced Gareloch sailors found the transition into the Sonar class in a good blow trickier than expected. Arrow was first, Siglette second and Nona third.
The RO moved swiftly onto race two, another exciting start and close competition up the beat. The downwind legs were fast with the boats surfing under spinnaker. Jamie with her young Lomond School team worked hard, going for the minimum number of tacks up the beat to save time. They always came past the committee boat with a grin and a wave! The second race was won again by Arrow, with Grouse second and Siglette third.
There was another good start in the final race, but at the top of the beat the heaviest squall of the day swept in causing mayhem. In moments Siglette was on her side with her keel showing, and mast top and two of her crew in the water; it seemed to take ages for her to come up again. Charlotte also got knocked down but quickly righted herself, although her kite was flying horizontally from the top of her mast for some time. Grouse the nearest boat turned back to stand by Siglette and the rib raced to get the crew back on board and check everyone was safe and uninjured. Fortunately the swimmers (the helm and his Mum) were both unharmed and the boat though full of water didn’t suffer much damage. The moral is always have the washboards in when racing a Sonar! Jamie with her young crew had already decided that they had done as much as they sensibly could and were heading home when the squall hit, a most seaman like decision. The results were Arrow first, Nona second and Carpe Diem third. Grouse asked for redress and was awarded a second place by the protest committee, ably manned by Anne and Tim Esson.
The final shot from the weather was torrential rain in the moorings. Everyone retired to the RNCYC bar to relax over a well earned drink and tell the stories. Most people headed off for hot showers and a change of clothes before coming back to the club for an excellent barbeque (indoors) provided by the Chef Dave. The club house was buzzing and a great evening was had by all rounding off an eventful day.
Sunday’s weather was kinder with light winds and sunshine, an extra rib was laid on to tow the one design boats out. Four Garelochs and two Pipers joined the eight Sonars. The RO anchored off the Helensburgh esplanade setting up a similar short course to that used on Saturday. The wind was flicking around, but good windward leeward courses were achieved.
The Piper class suffered from lack of boats, but enjoyed the racing. Magic Flute’s greater experience in the Pipers showed against Leander who is in her first season. Gavin MacLellan in Magic Flute won the class, being awarded the Piper half-model trophy.
The four Garelochs had good racing, Teal being dominant with two firsts and a second, followed by Hermes with two seconds and a third. Zoe also achieved a first. The RO commented on a marked improvement in the competitiveness of the starts as the day progressed. Iain MacGillivray, in Teal was awarded the Henderson trophy as winner of the class.
Sunday’s Sonar class starts were even more fiercely competitive than Saturday’s. In the lighter winds several boats challenged Arrow’s lead. Charlotte had the most improved performance with two seconds and a first, Siglette had a first in race 4 and a second in 6, and both Carpe Diem and Grouse hit the top end of the fleet with thirds. Arrow helmed by Mark Greenhalgh and owned by Stewart Gibb won the Hunter trophy and also the Scottish Sonar Championship trophy. Siglette with Griogair Whyte and team was awarded the swimming prize, and Charlotte with Nicole McPherson/Alan Yendell sharing helming duties was awarded the fishing net prize.
Lomond School awarded two elegant glass trophies. One trophy was for the Regatta Challenge, and the other for the most successful boat with close links to Lomond School. The regatta challenge was won by Tom and Harry Mathews (J2&J5). Grouse with Ailsa Pender (a former pupil) and Linda Pender (a school board member), had the best results for a boat with links to Lomond School.
Once again thanks are due to all those who gave up their time and put in effort to make the regatta a success. Without their input it would not have happened.
Next year it is the sailing committee’s intention to put on a bigger and better Club Regatta incorporating more cruising boats and other one design classes. We will again go for a two day event with perhaps a bigger party on the Saturday night. Keep an eye out for next year’s date and put it in your diary. We look forward to seeing you then.