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RS400 Scottish Tour at Loch Earn Sailing Club

by Jim Sinclair 28 Apr 2017 12:58 BST 22-23 April 2017
RS400 Scottish Tour at Loch Earn © Mike Grant

The 2017 RS400 Scottish Tour, generously sponsored by Stewart Brewing, Benromach Whisky and JP Watersports, kicked off at Loch Earn Sailing Club on 22 and 23 April. The event was one of three RS400 events around the country (others being at Rutland and Bassenthwaite) with nearly 50 boats involved. At total of 10 boats enjoyed in the fun at Loch Earn.

Saturday was given over to coaching with Jim Sinclair and Sarah Robertson leading the exercises and trying to provide a few pearls of wisdom. With the wind slightly off the north shore of the Loch, stable wind was hard to find – it seemed to settle only long enough to begin an exercise before shifting 60 degrees or turning off completely. Despite this, everyone reached the end of the day knowing a little more than they had known when they arrived.

Sunday was the first traveller of the season. The wind had turned left just enough that it was blowing straight down the Loch, definitely the best direction. Although there were moments when it moderated a little, it was generally pretty brisk with the last race being sailed in a solid 20+ knots.

Race one offered a mixture of disappointment or amusement, depending whether you sailed the right or wrong course (a small miscommunication saw Jim Sinclair & Ben Wilcox sail a course that had been discussed rather than the course on the board - Duckhams). Stewart & Sarah Robertson took an early lead round the (correct) first mark but were chased down and passed at the last leeward mark by Bob & Nadia Yeamans who rode a great gust in from the right side of the run to cross just ahead. In a nail-biting final beat the Robertsons managed to squeeze ahead on the last tack to the finish. Angus Marshall & Imogen Barnett were just behind in third with fleet newcomers Jaime Rogers & Neil McLaren an excellent fourth.

Race two started promptly with a change of windward mark to shorten the course a little. The Robertsons pulled ahead again with Sinclair & Wilcox escaping the pack to give chase. The two leaders stretched away into the distance and, although it was close, the Robertsons held on to win again. Team Yeamans consolidated their overall position with a third followed home by Rogers & McLaren.

The final race of the day, in the strongest breeze of the weekend began with yet another tight start. Alas, this time Marshall & Barnett were an inch the wrong side and had to go back. The fleet split on the first beat with some boats taking the shift in to the right hand shore and others following the stronger breeze out to the left. When the fleet came together at the top mark it was pretty clear that left was best and the Robertsons led again, cruising clear to complete a perfect scorecard for the event. Sinclair and Wilcox recovered from their right side error to a comfortable second but too much was lost to ever challenge the leaders. The Yeamans were again in touch throughout, their third place being enough to seal second overall. Peter Taylor & Brian Greer came home fourth in the race and the regatta. Alas, Rogers and McLaren discovered that bad things happen if the rudder pops up on a 20+ knot downwind blast.

Many thanks to Loch Earn Sailing Club for their hospitality and friendliness. Always a pleasure. It was an excellent weekend to get the season started. Everyone who entered gets a ticket in the season-long lottery to win a new jib (one ticket per event entered, minimum three events, boat owners only, anyone who's finished in the top 10 at the Nationals or Europeans is excluded). Next stop is 6 & 7 May at the tidal conveyor belt that is Royal Wormit with a Sprints format on offer. It'll be excellent.

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
11319Stewart RobertsonSarah RobertsonRFYC1113
21124Bob YeamansNadia YeamansASYC2338
31362Jim SinclairBen WilcoxELYC102214
41096Peter TaylorBrian GreerDBSC55414
5768Angus MarshallImogen BarnettDBSC36716
61073Jamie RogersNeil McLaren 441018
7476Martin BoothOllie Milling SmithDBSC67518
81445Phil BrittonMike AtkinsonDBSC108624
91265Colin DavisNaomi MoranASYC79824
101294Mike GrantAlan BirseLSC11111133

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