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Helensburgh Sailing Club Youth Regatta

by Moray Clark 22 Jun 2012 10:22 BST 16-17 June 2012
Helensburgh Youth Regatta © Kevin Lynch

A blustery and wet Helensburgh greeted sailors from all over Scotland for the clubs Youth regatta, incorporating the Scottish Optimist and Topper Championships and the 3rd Scottish Youth Series Event.

A steady breeze of 25 knots gusting up into the 30's kept the 90 boats ashore for the whole day with the breeze not dying down well into the evening, by which time racing had been abandoned for the day and the sailors and parents had taken full advantage of the Club's fine catering.

With and earlier start and 4 races planned for the sunday, all the classes were keen to get on the water and win their respective classes. With racing being extremely close in the light and tidal conditions on the east patch, several classes overall result's were dependent on numerous protests that were sorted out quickly and fairly by the Protest Committee. Almost every class had merely 1 or two points separating the top boats, a credit to the determination of each sailor to win their class.

The Optimist's had the biggest showing at the event, with 22 boats competing for the Scottish Championships. With Rory Rose from Aberdeen and Stonehaven squeezing out in front of the CCC Dinghy Section's Hamish Taylor by a single point. In 3rd was Niccolo Vetta of Annandale SC, pipping Loch Lomond's Rory Harper onto the podium by again a single point.

9 Sailors competed for the Optimist Development fleet title with Scott Forbes from Loch Lomond securing the series with an unchallenged string of firsts.

The Topper class also had a good showing of 18 boats with this being their Scottish Championships as well. Racing was again tight on the day with the winner of the series being decided by a protest from the last race of the regatta. Largs Sailing Club's Lewis Marr won the Scottish title for the second year running, repeating last year's battle with rival and future sailing partner Aaron Murray, of Loch Earn, who came second. Local sailor Calum Rosie took the final spot on the podium after snapping at the heel's of Lewis and Aaron all day.

And in the Topper Development fleet, it was local sailor Chris Allwood who came out on top with a perfect scoreline.

The Laser Radial Class again had a close battle throughout, with the conditions suiting Loch Earn sailor Calum Tait winning his first event of the year. The tussle for second and third was only decided by a one point margin after the 4 races of the day. With Royal Gourock's Alex Still slipping into second just ahead of Largs' Iain McLaughlin.

In the Laser Standard's it was an all too familiar score line for Laser veteran Pete Malcolm of Largo Bay at the top of the score board, with his trademark string of firsts. Port Edgar's David Woakes took the 3rd Spot in the light conditions with Robbie Lawson of East Lothian completing the podium line up.

In the 420 class local pairing of Alistair Gray and Alan McIntosh outsmarted the rest of the class in the ever tactical fleet to take the top spot. With the sibling pairing of Joanna and Fergus Barrie taking the second slot.

After being disappointed at not being able to go and play in the big breeze on the Saturday, the 29er fleet had to settle for sailing in the lighter breeze on the Sunday. But despite the lighter breeze there was still several capsises in the fleet. Most notably Andrew McGowan, taking like a duck to water taking his first swimming lesson in the class. However it was the girls pairing of Sarah Alexander and Zoe Dupuy from East Lothian who excelled in the lighter breeze coming out on top of Gillies Munro and Daniel Harris from Royal Forth. With Sailing Fast's Duncan Hepplewhite from Loch Lomond taking the 3rd spot with crew Andrew Mitchell.

And finally the Feva/Handicap Class was won by David Sword from Loch Tummel, who was untouchable with 4 firsts in his Solo.

The club would like to thank all those who lent their ribs, yachts and all the individuals who made the event possible and to the ladies in the kitchen who keep everybody fully fed and watered over the weekend.

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