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Scottish District IOM Championship at Castle Semple

by Cathy Reid 3 May 2018 06:19 BST 28 April 2018

The water sports centre at Castle Semple was the venue for the 2018 Scottish District IOM Championship held on 28th April. The low level of the loch meant that conditions for radio sailing were ideal. There was full access to the lower walkway which was dry. In addition a light NE wind down the loch enabled a long course to be set that was adjacent to the control area.

Following weight checks, which revealed a number of discrepancies, thirteen skippers from six of the Scottish District clubs, including four former Scottish champions, assembled for the RO's briefing. In the light of previous experience with skippers of mixed ability, the racing was conducted with two fleets using HMS. Although this limited the number of races completed to 11, it had the desired effect of reducing the number of incidents on the water to a minimum, and ensured that the racing was conducted in a very well-mannered and sportsmanlike way, something that was appreciated both by the race team and the spectating public. Infringements were acknowledged and penalty turns taken promptly, and the overall standard of boat handling was very high.

Conditions on the loch posed many problems for skippers with variations in both wind direction and strength occurring throughout the course of a single heat. Stronger winds also quickly generated the Castle Semple chop which was difficult to deal with when the wind fell. As a result consistency was hard to achieve, with only one skipper (Steve Taylor) managing to stay in A fleet throughout the championships. By lunchtime, and with five races completed, Richard Rowan sailing a Cheinz led by one point from Steve Taylor (Corbie 5) with Tich Summers (BritPop), who had experienced radio problems in the seeding race, a further three points back. Despite winning his seeding race, Ian Dundas sailing a new design (Idiom) seemed to lack his usual pace and pointing ability and was back in fourth place, closely followed by Robert Brown (BritPop).

After the break racing continued to be very close and competitive in both fleets, and placing were often decided on the very last leg of the course with large gains being possible with the correct choice of mark at the leeward gate. Although only 11 races were completed, the system of promotion and demotion between the fleets meant that some competitors sailed as many as 17 heats; indeed David Stewart (Goth) took part in 11 heats without a break. At the end of race 11, Richard Rowan and Steve Taylor were tied at the top of the leader board on 18 points. Despite Steve having accumulated a lower points total than Richard before discards, he only had two race wins while Richard had three, leaving Richard Rowan as the Scottish District IOM champion for 2018.

The Scottish District of the MYA is very grateful to the staff at Castle Semple for hosting the championships and for providing access to facilities and equipment that enabled the event to run so smoothly. We look forward to returning to the venue in April 2019 for the Scottish National Ranking Race weekend.

Overall Results: (top six)

1. R Rowan (Greenock) Cheinz, 18pts
2. S Taylor (Aberdeen) Corbie, 5 18pts
3. B Summers (Tayside) BritPop, 27pts
4. I Dundas (Aberdeen) Idiom, 37pts
5. R Brown (Levenhall) BritPop, 38pts
6. C McGinnis (Tayside) Buzz 2, 46pts

Race Team: Richard Ennos (RO), David Smith, Nick Cowern, Lindsay Odie.

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