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Scottish Oppie Traveller 1 at Annandale Sailing Club

by Alec Logan 6 Apr 2009 07:48 BST 4-5 April 2009
18 Oppies assembled for the first Scottish Oppie traveller of the season © Alec Logan

18 Oppies assembled for the first Scottish Oppie traveller of the season. Heady times for Scottish junior racing, especially for Oppies, where numbers have quadrupled over the winter to over 40 boats at 16 clubs. Our rock-stars were on their AngloDutchItalian GBR tour, but new shiny helms and boats debuted.

Annandale a perfect early season venue, a ruined Robert the Bruce castle in a copse at one end of the loch, and a Bronze Age crannog at the other. A club pulling out all the stops, and everyone joining in.

Saturday, Races 1 to 3, NW 3-4 and blustery, grey and occasionally moist. Jamie Calder (Loch Tummel SC) nailed all three starts, sailing with lovely balance, like Anna Burrnett in her Oppie prime, and won three opening races. Jack Gillespie (Royal Gourock YC) a solid second. Angus Johnstone (Annandale) pushing hard for third podium place against Scottish Squad sailors Rachel Mawer and Sophie Taylor (both Clyde Cruising Club). Some big squalls latterly with several sailors in the reed beds which were wet but soft.

On Sunday, champagne sailing (or Irn Bru sailing as we call it in these parts). Westerly force 2-3, glorious spring sunshine. In Race 4, Jamie led from start to finish, pushed hard all the way by Angus. Race 5 Jamie port tacked the fleet at the start then went too far right, allowing Angus, then Sophie into the lead. Jamie rallied by the windward mark and led to the finish, Angus second, Jack easing past Sophie for third. Jack second in Race 6 to pip Sophie into third overall.

What of the regatta fleet? Saturday challenging, though one race completed and won by Alasdair Ireland (Toward SC). On Sunday regatta fleet had the broadest smiles on the water. Alasdair-One-To-Watch won all three races, closely pursued by Nicolo Vetta (Annandale), second overall. Hamish Taylor (CCC), first event, racing the far-famed Tickety Boo, took third. Well done to Christopher Crokett (Loch Lomond SC), narrowly pipped for third, Rebecca Bryant (Annandale) who completed her first race, as did Drew Mitchell (Annandale), sailing a borrowed fibreglass racing Oppie for the first time. The Oppie, Drew, is the junior racing platform of choice, nest ce pas? Great weekend all round and roll on Trav 2 at Venacher, APR 24-25.

Thanks again to Annandale Sailing Club, and to RYAS junior racing coaches Lynn Crichton and James Logan who coached the regatta fleet and spent some time covered in slime.

No thanks to Scottish Oppie Official Pointer Puppy, Sally, who chased oystercatchers all day, which is fine, but who chewed through the camcorder charging lead, not so good. Regatta sailors are invited to suggest ways in which Sally can be both chastised and re-educated!

Overall Results:

Main Fleet
1 Jamie Calder, GBR 4647 (Loch Tummel SC)
2 Jack Gillespie, GBR 4974 (Royal Gourock Yacht Club)
3 Sophie Taylor, GBR tbc (Clyde Cruising Club)

Regatta Fleet
1 Alasdair Ireland, GBR 5708 (Toward SC)
2 Nicolo Vetto, GBR 5878 (Annandale SC)
3 Hamish Taylor, GBR 4130 (Clyde Cruising Club)

Full results and more information about Scottish Oppie Racing at

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