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RS200 Scottish Tour Round 1 at Fisherrow Yacht Club

by Sam Thompson 23 Apr 2015 11:41 BST 18-19 April 2015
RS200 Scottish Tour round 1 at Fisherrow © Max Blinkhorn

Lomo Scottish Sprint Championships

With clear blue skies, a sandy beach and turquoise water dotted with white caps those sailors who had arrived for the Saturday training could be forgiven for thinking they were in the Caribbean but only if they were totally impervious to the cold. Summer had arrived in Fisherrow but the Northerly wind definitely had a winter flavour still.

The training day was led by Allan Lennox, for most people it was the first time in the boat since last season so it was very much crawl, walk, run to begin with. There was lots of opportunity to practise up/downwind, starts, kite work and boat handling all backed up by the benefit of video debriefing back in the club. Quite a few helms decided that their masts were looking a little dusty so purposely gave them a quick rinse although it was evident that they had not communicated this intent with the crew with one particularly spectacular dismount resulting in a 100m swim to rejoin the boat.

Sunday dawned and it was clear summer was over, Cockenzie Power Station loomed in and out of the grey gloop with drizzly showers sweeping across the Forth. There was also a distinct lack of water so everyone was sheltering in the club wondering if they had enough warm clothes in their kit bags whilst waiting for the relaxed 1400 warning signal. Five more boats had arrived to bolster the fleet by the time they launched into the 15+knot breeze with quite a lumpy sea for up to 8 back to back 'sprint' races.

A sensible pre race hoist by local heroes Tim and Carol saw them heading back to the beach with a rigging malfunction to the obvious disappointment of the by now, capacity crowd gathered on the promenade. They did make it back to the race course and even finished ahead of their Jedi Mas-ters, Fred and Jude in some subsequent races.

Meanwhile, races one and two had passed in a blur of waves, spray, a building breeze and some swimming by most teams. Good starts by the entire fleet led to tight beats with those coping better with the steep chop emerging as leaders at the windward mark. Some savvy downhill sailing by Thompson/Hibberd sailing Marjorie allowed them to pull through by the leeward mark at the end of lap one giving them the opportunity to extend their lead over the second lap to the finish.

By race two Millar/Homer had brought their upwind legs to the party and rounded ahead of Ben/Rachel but again Thompson/Hibberd took the lead downwind and held to the finish. Slightly further back, Gavin and Findlay Mackinnon were snapping at the heels of the top three upwind and having a good battle with Martin/Bill and Fiona Rigg sailing with Ashly

Race three saw the Thompson/Hibberd domination come to a close although they worked hard to close, catch and pass Millar/Homer to take the lead downwind an under par gybe gave the lead back to Millar/Homer. A further mistake at the leeward mark led to a penalty turn and an opportu-nity for Ben/Rachel to take second behind Millar/Homer. Fred and Jude decided to sit this one out and observe from the comfort of their upturned hull having attempted the much fabled upside down pirouette switchback maneuver off the line but sadly failing on the exit thus leaving the local heroes to sail smugly past.

Race four had the only individual recall of the series with Manderson/Roy struggle with the concept of time as a linear existence resulting in them returning to the start. The lead then changed hands downwind three times, this time a rare over standing of the lay line by Thompson/Hibberd gifted pole position to Millar/Homer. Splitting tacks upwind they were confident of regaining the lead on the next lap so were disappointed to receive a finishing horn at the end of the first lap and alarmed to see that Team Lennox had come from nowhere on the right and were threatening to displace them of their consolation second place.

Race five saw Ben/Rachel leading around the windward mark and building a good lead downwind allowing them to place a loose cover on the chasing pack. A late charge by Marjorie in the building breeze and swell restored Thompson/Hibberd to the lead on the penultimate leg and gave them a third win. By now the fleet was showing signs of tiredness and the race officer wisely brought an end to racing and sent them home.

Bruised and sore bodies gathered for tea and huge amounts of cake to recount tales of hiking ag-ony and dicey moments. Three wins out of five was enough for Thompson/Hibberd to take the overall Sprint Championships closely followed by a consistent Ben/Rachel with Ronnie Millar/Bess Homer third paying heavily for their swim in the no discard series.

A huge thank you needs to go to Fisherrow YC and their superb hospitality also to their race man-agement and swift turn around which was gratefully appreciated by all on the water. The safety crews were kept on tenterhooks all day and did a fine job of laying the courses, managing to take some pictures at the same time. Lastly, thanks to Lomo Wetsuits who provided the prizes. The Scottish Tour moves to Port Edgar next on 2/3rd May.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st1215Sam ThompsonLeanne Hibberd113218
2nd623Ben WilcoxRachel Offer4415216
3rd1167Ronald MillarBess Homer2921317
4th1203Gavin MackinsonFinlay Mackinson3364521
5th1571Allan LennoxAmy Lennox5243DNC26
6th930Marsin FalknerBill Forsyth6556426
7th600Fiona RiggAshly Martin7677DNC39
8th1281Neil MandersonStu Roy9798740
9th1027Tim JonesCarol JonesDNFDNC89646
10th1405Jude BairdFred Fuller8810DNFDNC49
11th774Robert WalkerAmy RomianiukDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC60

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