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Glasgow Grouse Team Racing at Bardowie Loch

by Peter Collings on 3 Nov 2016 29-30 October 2016
Light wind start in Group A during the Glasgow Grouse team racing © Leanne Fischler / Fisch Photography

When the idea for the Glasgow Grouse was first pitched, we worked out a break-even point of 9 teams. We decided to be ambitious and aim for 12 entries. Now, just over four years on, the event attracted 24 teams, with another 6 having to be turned away (as much as we wanted to use the #biggerthanbusa hashtag!).

The previous week of towing and preparation left 24 boats rigged, siphoned and ready to go on the water. The only problem was that the water was a perfect mirror, and the forecast didn't offer much hope of improvement. It was left to Glasgow's overworked helpers to supply the frustrated teams with bacon rolls and pasta. Eventually the decision was made to can at 1400, whereupon the breeze set in as the last bus was pulling out of the gate. Fortunately for the race committee's sanity, it didn't hold, and everyone was able to head to the ceilidh regret-free.

The ceilidh can only be described as a complete success, with only one trip to A&E resulting, and this year it wasn't even from Manchester. The next morning, the loch was still glassy though, and there was no sign of any breeze on the horizon. People started muttering about a cancellation. Newcastle were edging towards their minibus. The race committee were working out how to get a result for a 24-team event in under 10 races. Just when it seemed like we were going to have to scrub Rule 42 and declare a free-for-all, a westerly force 2 crept over the hill at the end of the loch soon after 11 and settled down on the racing area.

With 60 races to get through to complete the group stage, we were going to be pushed for time, but the crack race management team were able to keep things moving at a brisk pace. By 3 o'clock, the 24 teams had been whittled down to 8, with the top two teams from each group advancing to quarter finals.

The first quarter final saw Edinburgh A comfortably dispatch Newcastle A. RNCYC beat Strathclyde Green, Strathclyde Blue defeated BDKMG, and Edinburgh Import were victorious over Newcastle B in the other quarters.

With the wind threatening to die things rolled straight into the semi finals, with RNCYC beating Edinburgh A with a 1-2, and Strathclyde Blue doing the same thing to Edinburgh Import, besting them off the line and holding the combination all the way around the course.

The final was then between RNCYC and Strathclyde Blue in a best-of-three showdown. In a tight first race, RNCYC crossed the line in a 2-3-4, after both teams had kept the umpires busy the whole way around the racecourse. In the second, they won the start, securing a 1-2-4 by mark 1, and holding it to the finish, retaining the Glasgow Grouse.

As always, massive thanks to everyone who made the event run so smoothly, in spite of tricky conditions. Greg the PRO, Ruaridh and Ali on the beach, Fitz, Fester and Tor who always run a mean start boat, all the umpiring team who, like all umpiring teams, never made a bad call, James Logan for the loan of his RIB, Leanne Fischler for the photography, Doros the bosun, Smith the helper coordinator and the hordes of volunteers who did every job imaginable from lifting boats to cooking bacon.

And of course a few additional thank yous to our sponsors, Your Book List, Dram, Viper and Summer Sail Week, and to Clyde Cruising Club and Glasgow University Sports Association, whose support is vital to getting us on the water.

A full photo album is available on Facebook here.

Overall Results:

Winner: RNCYC
Runners Up: Strathclyde Blue
Third Place: Edinburgh Import
Fourth Place: Edinburgh A
Other Quarter Finalists: BDKMG, Strathclyde Green, Newcastle A, Newcastle B

Group Stages:

PosTeam NameWins
Group A
1stEdinburgh A5
2ndNewcastle B4
3rdGlasgow Beige3
4thBig Booty Bitches1
5thAberdeen1
6thManchester Blue1
Group B
1stRNCYC5
2ndStrathclyde Blue4
3rdManchester Purple3
4thSt. Andrews2
5thEdinburgh D1
6thAberdeen Skite0
Group C
1stBDKMG4
2ndStrathclyde Green4
3rdManchester Yellow3
4thGlasgow Blue3
5thEdinburgh C1
6thAnnandale0
Group D
1stEdinburgh Import5
2ndNewcastle A4
3rdThe Synergistic Koalas3
4thGlasgow Green2
5thStrathclyde White1
6thEdinburgh B0

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