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RS400 Scottish Tour at Royal Findhorn Yacht Club

by John MacKenzie 8 Jul 2016 08:25 BST 2-3 July 2016
RS400s at Findhorn © Fiona Johnstone

A strong fleet of seventeen RS400s turned up for the latest round of the RS400 Scottish Tour. After a sensational weekend of racing at North Berwick, could Findhorn match that? Indeed it could. The visitors were treated to the now legendary hospitality of Royal Findhorn, and the entire fleet enjoyed close racings with individual contests all through the fleet.

Day one was sailed out in Moray Firth, with the locals deftly working their way through the Findhorn tidal race. Not so locals found themselves wading through the 4-5 knot current. Which was a shock to the system at about 8.45 am. Once out though, the scene was set for glorious racing in a steady force three.

The first race demonstrated how close the racing was going to be, and how important it was not to succumb to the apparently innocent question the night before of "just the one?" Stewart "Grumpy" Robertson couldn't quite figure out if it was that extra pint that did it, or the fact that there was a heavy port bias, and, using his own words "the start was quite important". Bedborough and someone called "Dodger", MacKenzie/Box and Neil McLelland sailing with "Andy" did spot the bias and finished in that order. Local crew of Gillies Munro and Daniel Harris (49er fx supremos) demonstrated their speed (and potential for other open events) by finishing fourth.

The second race was abandoned after a rather sheepish Race Officer confessed to mixing up the individual recall and general recall signals. MacKenzie/Box were eternally grateful...! When restarted the second race saw local crew of Ian and Beverley Ellis battling it out with the Robertsons, MacKenzie/Box and Mclelland/Andy with the Robertsons taking the win, the Ellis's pipping MacKenzie/Box by half a boat length, and McLelland/Andy coming in fourth. The final race of the day was sailed in a fading breeze, with the Robertsons again taking the win, with McLelland/Andy second and the Ellis's third. McLelland/Andy were just a little disappointed as they had led all the way round until the Robertsons got lucky on the last beat.

With the early start due to the tide, the fleet were treated to an early finish. For some there was time for a tactical nap. For others, the nap was a bit longer – pointing no fingers Mr Webley! Many decided that a few drinks at the bar, dinner, watching the Germany v Italy game and then bed at a sensible time was the right tactical move. For others the lure of the clubhouse bar was too much, and the (im)famous Wormit Boat Club choir was apparently in full swing.

Day two dawned grey, cool and windy. A last minute change of mind by the Race Officer meant that racing took place in the bay. Flat water – but big wind shifts and huge gusts. Bedborough/Dodger took the first race win, with the Robertsons finishing back in fifth. See earlier comments about "just the one". The results of races five and six had the Robertsons and Bedborough/Dodger taking first and second respectively, but both races were closely fought. Angus Marshall, sailing with Imogen Barnett, kept the leaders honest, and places were constantly changing through the fleet. With some blasting reaching on flat water, everyone came ashore with a smile of their face. Not smiling thought was Neil McLelland and Andy, who were deprived of a near certain podium position when their boom snapped and ended their racing for the day.

Special mention must go to Helen Cowie who gets a Duckhams nomination for complaining that her kite didn't work on Saturday - only to find she was sailing with a Stratos kite! Robster McLeod also gets one for rigging his kite sheets but forgetting to put them through the blocks. Easy done...

For international travellers next stop is Travemunde for the Eurocup. The next Scottish event is at Stonehaven on 20 and 21 August.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelm & CrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st1319 S Robertson S Robertson RForthYC5115119
2nd1432 K Bedborough R Dodger DBSC15512211
3rd1455 J MacKenzie A Box DBSC23464316
4th909 I Ellis B Ellis RFYC7234 18 DNS420
5th1180 G Munro D Harris RFYC47823521
6th768 A Marshall I Barnett DBSC66635926
7th414 M Toynbee K Papapanagiotou DBSC88778838
8th1129 D Webley F Mulford WBC912 18 DNC87642
9th877 P Taylor R McLeod DBSC109996 18 DNC43
10th1370 N McEllan Andy DBSC342 18 DNF 18 DNS 18 DNC45
11th913 I Underwood S Hermiston RFYC1213111091153
12th476 M Booth R Booth DBSC11101212101053
13th1018 M Wilson D Henry CSC1415141112758
14th447 H Cowie H Dow RFYC1511101311 18 DNC60
15th1389 C Hornsby N Teddy RFYC17161614131271
16th1164 R Cowie G Rendall RFYC131413 18 DNC 18 DNC 18 DNC76
17th1032 D Cowie R Lightowler RFYC161715 18 DNF 18 DNC 18 DNC84

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