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Ovington 2021 - ILCA 3 - LEADERBOARD

RS400 Scottish Tour round 5 at Royal Findhorn Yacht Club

by Keith Bedborough 12 Jul 2017 22:32 BST
RS400 Scottish Tour at Royal Findhorn © RFYC

Nine travellers joined eight of the home boats of the Royal Findhorn Yacht Club on the Moray coast for Round 5 of the Benromach Whisky / JP Watersports Scottish Tour. With the familiar sail out through the tidal eye of the river out onto the Moray Firth to contend with early on Saturday, the fleet prepared for this on Friday night by ensuring the bar coffers were well stocked and an appropriate amount of pre-race tactical analysis was completed.

Saturday dawned grey with a health F3-4 south westerly off the shore as the crew eagerly launched for the 10:45am first start. At the front of the fleet John MacKenzie / Andy Box and Keith Bedborough / Jenny Douglas had a very close battle but ultimately it was MacKenzie / Box who demonstrated superior sailing and consistency to end the day with a perfect 1-1-1 scoreline.

The racing right across the fleet was incredibly close with constant place changing and quite a few hull inspections in the gusty and very shifty conditions. Angus and Imogen were looking 'strong and stable' in third with 11 points, closely followed by lightweight extreme low-angle downwind maestros Ian and Bev Ellis on 12pts, and the Royal Wormit Choir pairing of Dave Webley / Fraser Mumford on 18pts.

There were some great Duckhams nominations on the way back in as the fleet sailed through the tidal eye with kites up in a very variable Force 1-5. Special day one mention to local 49er lad Ghillies Munro / Matt Thomas who performed an inspired port tack at the pin to cross the fleet in race one resulting in a slot gasket inspection on the line, and narrowly avoiding decoupling Ms Douglas in the process.

Saturday evening was spent repairing broken boats, repairing broken bodies and a therapeutic debriefing in the clubhouse - after which it was decided nothing could be better than a cool and refreshing beverage provided by the sterling support of our sponsors...

Sunday was a lighter affair with the same direction resulting in plenty of snakes and ladders across the course. Bedborough believed he was OCS in race 1, returned and worked his way back up the fleet, to then suffer a gooseneck breakage on his borrowed-from-Robertson pre-loved boat. Luckily supercrew Douglas had an extensive emergency toolkit in her buoyancy aid so a "Bodge-iT" fix was swiftly completed.

Again it was Mackenzie / Box who demonstrated impressive consistency in the light and shifty conditions to post a 1-2-2 and take the event with a race to spare. Ellis *2 showed their superior speed and tactics in the light stuff and came out on top against Bedborough / Douglas – however in a cruel final twist it emerged that it was in fact it was the green Ellis boat that was OCS in race 1, hence Ian and Bev had to settle for third just behind Keith and Jenny.

Tour newcomers Jamie Rogers / Neil McLaren helped their overall standings in the Tour with a well deserved fourth and it was team Royal Wormit taking best improvers prizes with fifth overall.

So MacKenzie / Box emerged as well deserved winners/grinners and looking impressively consistent across the wind range as they accelerate their campaign towards the forthcoming RS Nationals.

Conditions/capabilities were such that Bedborough was kept extremely busy with the Duckhams nominations (awarded for sporting endeavour or preferably monumental c*ckup), including but not limited to:

a) Phil Britton for mooring rudder first against a buoy after launching – leaving enough time for social media to capture the moment on video

b) Martin Booth for capsizing on the slipway in 6 inches of water when returning to shore

c) Ghillies Munro for aforementioned port tack capsize in front of the whole fleet

d) Angus and Imogen for forgetting that you have to get up also on a Sunday to go sailboat racing

However, the overall Duckhams winners were Dave Webley / Fraser Mulford for that impressive 3-sail inversion in the middle of the tidal channel - and subsequent rapid departure back out into the North Sea.

Huge thanks to Royal Findhorn Yacht club for putting on yet another fantastic regatta with their now legendary hospitality, to Benromach Whisky for providing the prizes, Stewart Brewing / JP Watersports for class sponsorship, and of course all the unsung heroes working in the background who makes these events happen.

After five events in the 2017 Scottish Tour this puts the ever-consistent team of Stewart / Sarah Robertson leading, with tasty newcomers Jamie Rogers / Neil Mclaren in 2nd ahead by 1 point of the ever-consistent (sleepyheads) Angus Marshall / Imogen Barnett in 3rd. With a few other likely contenders still to qualify (MacKenzie, McLellan, Robertson Jnr, Bedborough, Sinclair) the final 2 events at Dalgety Bay SC and Largs SC should be extremely hotly contested.

In other news a storming 12 boat tartan army has been assembled for the 1200 mile pilgrimage to the RS400 nationals which this year is at Mounts Bay SC in Cornwall. This will be an amazing event and is now front and centre of all sailing preparations.

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