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Scottish Open Challenger Championship at Loch Earn Sailing Club

by Marion Edwards on 18 Jul 15-16 July 2017

Nine challengers gathered at Loch Earn Sailing Club for the rescheduled Scottish Open Challenger Championships. Generous sponsorship from Tunnocks allowed the entry fee to be waived.

The club was also hosting the Scottish Inland Laser Championships. The Challengers shared a start/finish line with the Lasers but had their own start after the Radial fleet and sailed a different course.

Saturday morning saw a fitful easterly wind and immediately after the briefing AP was raised. The race officer was confident the wind would swing and fill in from the west which it did shortly after 14:00 and led to a flurry of activity to get almost thirty boats on the water.

Race 1 started with an individual recall but no-one returned. Graham Hall (270) led initially but was overtaken by Craig Moffett (295) on the second beat. Craig proceeded to give Graham a master class on how to pump on each wave on the run. However, coming out of the gybe mark Graham got to windward of Craig and controlled the reach and subsequent leeward mark rounding to take the win by 10 seconds. Duncan gained considerable ground by avoiding the tactical shenanigans but found he had been the OCS boat, this gave Stephen Bate (58) third.

Race 2 saw a clean start and Graham led to the finish followed by Craig. This time Duncan made no mistakes to take third, and Ronnie Cameron (240) followed to a well earned fourth place. By now the wind was gusting over 20 knots and the fleet came ashore for the day.

Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny with whitehorses dancing down the loch in the westerly breeze. Race 3 started after a short postponement. Craig started towards the pin in stronger wind, but those starting nearer the race hut were lifted towards the mark. Graham rounded first followed by Duncan. Duncan chased Graham hard and on the second lap made a substantially better leeward mark rounding but couldn't quite catch him. Although Craig gained substantially on the second down wind leg he had to settle for third.

By now the wind had picked up and the safety boat crews were hard pressed with a number of capsized lasers so all fleets were brought ashore. After a short postponement the Lasers returned to the water with the Challengers held ashore with the intention of having a fourth race after the Lasers had finished.

A swift turn round saw the Lasers come ashore and help launch the Challengers. Race 4 saw Graham leading from start to finish and on the second lap was able to take advantage of his Race 1 pumping lesson. Craig was chasing Graham hard but had left himself too much to do. Alex Hodge (241) sailed his best race to take third. The weary Challenger shore crew were again aided by Laser sailors for the final recovery.

At the prize giving thanks were given to the race officer Colin Tait, who set good courses and made good decisions in difficult conditions, the safety crews and the Laser sailors who assisted with launching and recovering the Challengers.

Trophy Winners:

The Sandeman Trophy (1st overall): Graham Hall
Spot Prize: Julie Callan for improvement during her first regatta
First Lady: Ann Ritchie
First Scottish Boat: Craig Moffett
Clyde Cruising Club Challenger Trophy (winner of last race): Graham Hall

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4Pts
1Graham Hall270(1)1113
2Craig Moffett29522(3)26
3Duncan Greenhaugh236(OCS )3249
4Alexander Hodge24145(7)312
5Stephen Thomas Bate583(6)4613
6Ronnie Cameron240645(7)15
7Ann Ritchie2345(7)6516
8Julie Callan2358(RTD)RTD826
9Dik Toulson1857(RTD)RTDRTD27

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