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JPWatersports RS200 Scottish Tour Helensburgh Sailing Club Sprints

by Martin Faulkner on 24 Oct 7 October 2017
RS200 Helensburgh Sprints © Craig Chalmers

Neil said breeze is looking good for Saturday.

Alice said Neil will be cooking.

Peter said he needed crew and downwind coaching.

Charlie said she and Dan may be coming but she had just lost her tow bar over the side of a road.

Andrew said to Josh and Fenela "just chuck your sails and rudder in the back of my van and I'll see you there".

Andrew said he and Callum will be there but that was before Andrew's van's right front wheel's brake pad said "no" and shut like a clam.

Well, in the end the wind came before the eating, Peter either got the coaching he needed, or never needed it in the first place. Next time, Charlie, Dan, Andrew and Callum are going to sail to Helensburgh from Largs and thanks to some local support Josh and Fenella were quickly kitted out with sails and rudder and were able to compete.

As for the rest, there were 13 boats entered, 8 races with target times of 15-20mins per race, the wind was from the west from force 2 to 6 and there was a lot of rainwater coming down the Gare Loch. Start lines were tightly packed and a few recalls were called by an observant race management team. All this meant that if you were in the right place at the right time, you couldn't rely on it staying that way.

With mark roundings busy, there was much use of the class standard rule of not having to do penalty turns if touching a rounding mark. This inevitably lead to 'mark room' being turned on its head, with the expectation for the inside boat to touch the mark. This has recently come up in class AGM discussions about the rule not being included in future.

Neil and Alice joined in at their home club for their first RS200 Scottish tour event due to sailing and family commitments (or should that be in the other order?) and found they were gradually re-finding their feet in the boat until rigging failure struck.

"At the point when we were probably doing our best out of the whole event, we lost our kite sheet downwind, and I had to crawl out onto the bow. I just managed to get it back on before the leeward mark! I can't remember which race as they all blur into one" said Alice. This pretty much tells the story of the day for many, with brief chances appearing and disappearing within a boat length and what would be a minor error on a larger course becoming the breaking point in a game of recoveries.

Adapting quickly to all the conditions were Ronnie and Tor Millar, winning the first 3 races and then the seventh to win the event overall.

RS400 sailor, Ben Robertson, standing in for antipodean traveller, Brendan Lynch, crewed by Matt Morson, found the smaller boat lively enough to throw around the small course and gradually improved results from midfleet to top 3 in the last four races to come second overall.

Peter Collins was next to get some low scores including a win in race 5 to come third. Just a few points away were Fiona Rigg and Helen Wightman who put in an energetic fight during and after their initial ninth place in race one, showing their team racing skills and afterwards looking ready for the relative calm of Helen's wedding two weeks thereafter, despite losing the table plan and having to build a replacement - from Lego!

Overall scores for the JP Watersports Scottish Tour had been set to change after this final event of the series with 5 boats able to drop one of their high scores and enter their fourth event. Total series scores were totted up and the top 3 places were instantly claimed by 3 of the 4 teams who had taken it in turns to win the individual events.

The winners with two firsts and two third places were Ronnie and Tor Millar, who were surprised that their efforts to arrange childcare and get to events had been enough. Indeed it had, testament to being able to jump back in the (new) boat after a break and still perform so highly. "(It is)Good to see Ronnie keeping the young whipper snappers in check!" said Robbie Burns.

Thanks to Helensburgh Sailing Club, race officer Bobby Lennox and the efficient team who got us through bacon rolls, 8 races in changing conditions, prize giving and dinner.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
11650 Ronnie MillarTor MillarRFYC1118421523
2806MarvinBen RobertsonMatt MorsonPEYC5726213127
31120It'll be GrandPeter CollingsAlly IrelandCSSC3635167233
4600NessieFiona RiggHelen WightmanELYC9541644437
57281 Josh KerrFenalla CorlettLSC24923310841
61571 Allan LennoxAmy LennoxHSC43641192746
71530 Niamh HarperRichard HarperLTSCDSQ2113556349
81281 Neil MandersonAlice MeadonHSC61110710711668
91474 Calum BellMike O'DonovanHSC1081212988976
10930Wee Blue PenguinMartin FaulknerBill ForsythLSCDSQ107971091278
11774SimonRobert WalkerAmy RomaniukHSC712810121251379
12352MildredJohn IlsonRoss MalloyLTSCDSQ9511811121080
131011 Jake MillerJames MillerHSC81313DNFDNF13131199
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