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Scottish Oppie Traveller 4 at Loch Lomond Sailing Club

by Alec Logan and Bill Fowler 24 Jun 2009 10:08 BST 20-21 June 2009
Action from the Scottish Oppie Traveller at Loch Lomond © Bill Fowler

Culicoides impunctatus!

Midsummer at Loch Lomond, a light westerly breeze, the sun shining, two Munros (Ben Lomond and Ben Vorlich) looking down on the sailing area. Sailing in the UK does not come any more spectacular! Loch Lomond Sailing Club is a venerable institution – founded in 1873 as the Clyde Canoe Club, the club has an important place in the history of British dinghy sailing as canoes evolved into early sailing dinghies.

Another excellent entry with 23 Oppies turning up from all over Scotland, and including a tremendous entry of 16 in the Regatta fleet.

Main Fleet. Saturday was mild and grey, latterly sunny, with a good steady 10-15 kts from WNW. Three races sailed back-to-back. GBR squaddie Ali Gray (HSC) won them all, sailing expertly. Behind him three different sailors grabbed a second – Jack Gillespie (Royal Gourock) in Race 1, Sophie Taylor (CCC) in Race 2, Angus Johnstone (Annandale) in Race 3.

Sunday initially windless and several Oppie sailors/parents were stripped back to their skeletons by midges before the first warning signal. I exaggerate only slightly. A short postponement, every second of which itched, then thankfully light breeze filled in from WSW. Amazingly, another three good races completed. In Races 4 and 5 it paid to be called Alasdair as Alasdairs filled top three places. A Gray cemented position at the front of the regatta with winning both (and Race 6); A Ireland (Toward SC) second in both, at his first main fleet regatta, to be second overall (Huzza!); A Logan (CCC) engaged his Sunday brain, making up for the Saturday brain holiday. Rachel Mawer sailed well to come through to 3rd overall. Only 8 points between 3rd and 7th – the season looks interesting!

And the Regatta Fleet? Simply sensational, and a ground-breaking event for Scottish Oppie racing! Raw results, out of 16, are 1st Hamish Taylor (CCC), 2nd Fiona MacKay (Toward SC), 3rd Emma Fowler (LLSC). Underneath the radar, much more was happening! Miss MacKay was at first ever non-club racing and ended 2nd, sailing a borrowed boat (and many thanks to the lender). Fowlers ones to watch. Eight LLSC Oppies racing when this time last year there were none. (If Scottish Oppie racing is the fastest growing junior racing class in the UK, is LLSC the fastest growing club?) Tummel Izzy – moderate breeze specialist; Higgins of the Forth, need more East Coasters; Isla Harper, another LLSC debutante, wins a race!

Many thanks to LLSC, their splendid race officer, and to Bill Fowler and David Protheroe who made the event happen. And to regatta fleet coaches who are an increasing asset.

Roll on Traveller 5 at Clyde Cruising Club, Bardowie Loch near Glasgow on 18th & 19th July. There will be a very strong Regatta fleet entry, full coach support. Enter now, and coaching feedback at www.scottish-optimists.org.uk/eventsite.html

Full results and more information about Scottish Oppie Racing can be found at www.scottish-optimists.org.uk

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