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Kestrel National Championship at Royal Tay Yacht Club

by Ian Rintoul 3 Aug 2017 15:16 BST 23-26 July 2017
Kestrel Nationals at the Royal Tay © Tich Summers

The 2017 Kestrel Nationals were held at the Royal Tay Yacht Club over 4 days from July 23 – 26. A total of 36 entered including 2 past National Champions. There were two overseas entries.

David Smith, winner of the last Paphos Open, had flown from Cyprus and sailed a borrowed boat, whilst Larry King and his crew Mike Kitner had flown over from the USA. Larry and Mike, who normally sail at Saratoga Lake SC in New York State, took delivery of a new boat in Dundee just 24 hours before racing commenced.

A total of 7 races were sailed including a long-distance race on day 3. The first two races were sailed in windy conditions which tested the competitors, some of whom took early baths. Race 1 was won by 1634 Stewart & Mhairi Murdoch, with 1638 Malcolm & Danielle Worsley in 2nd and 1640 Andy Long & Richard Roberts in 3rd. In Race 2 Andy & Richard posted a warning to the fleet, storming away and winning by a good margin. Malcolm & Danielle took another second and the oldest boat in the fleet, 408 sailed by Chris Grice and Howie Enkel finished third.

On day two the winds had eased considerably, providing a new challenge in coping with the strong spring tides. Boats short-tacked up the northern shore giving close views of the racing to the many watchers along the promenade and at Broughty Castle. Race 3 saw the Murdochs repeat their race 1 victory, with Andy & Richard in 2nd and 1632 Sandy Bremner & Ken Scott-Brown 3rd. In Race 4 found Andy & Richard back in front with the Worsleys 2nd and 1633 Paul Barnett & Robin Lamb made the top three.

Day 3 featured the long distance race which saw the fleet criss-crossing the Tay and being observed by curious dolphins in addition to the race officials. The route took the fleet East past Newport then back West towards the Tay Road Bridge before crossing back to the northern shore and beating up to the finish against the tide past the spectators at the RTYC. This race saw a new winner in Chris & Howie, Paul & Robin took 2nd and Andy & Richard finished 3rd, placing them as overall leaders with 2 races to go.

The final day saw the wind and rain return in force. Race 6 was sailed on the far Southern shore with a long beat up the shoreline and a wing mark out in the tide towards mid-river. Andy & Richard won, cementing their overall first position with the Worsleys taking a fourth 2nd place and Paul & Robin in 3rd. There was a long delay before the final race whilst the wind dropped and then moved into the SW. In Race 7 Andy & Richard took their fourth top spot, the Worsleys secured a fifth second place and the Murdochs took third.

Overall Andy & Richard in 1640 secured their first Kestrel National Championship, with Malcolm & Danielle second in 1638 and Stewart & Mhairi third sailing 1634. Most improved boat over 2016 was 1636 Alasdair Hood and Campbell Morrison, most improved over the 2017 series were the American visitors, Larry King and Mike Kitner sailing 1639. Drew Young in 1582 won the Young Crew award and Gordon Forbes in 1592 won the Charles Cox Endeavour Award.

The welcome from Royal Tay YC members and staff was outstanding and the racing was expertly run by Race Officer Ron Lorimer and his team.

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