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ACH Series and Towback Race at Perth Sailing Club

by Peter Bevan 20 Aug 06:03 BST 12,15,16 & 19 August 2018

Sunday 12th August was rainy, Easterly force 2-3 with a large Spring tide making for challenging conditions, coupled with a tricky squashed figure-of-eight course by Eric Taylor.

A clean start against the strong tide saw everyone bunched up on the North shore, and John Ferguson (Streaker) first to mark A followed by Euan Macdonald (Aero) and James Curley (Laser). After a fast dash downwind Euan was in the lead on the way back up followed by Jacob McCauley (Laser) and James then John Ferguson struggling to make headway. By lap 2 Euan was well ahead at B with the rest struggling to round A. James and Andrew Porteus (Solo) were side-by-side on the way to B followed by Jacob. All struggled on the way back upwind with a dead spot in the middle, except John who tacked up the North shore to take the lead, followed by Euan. Coming back into view on the 3rd lap, Euan was in the lead by a large margin, then John and James. Euan used the full width of the river tacking upwind, however John tacked up the shore again to re-take the lead and finish ahead of Euan with James 3rd over the line. Munro and Molly Gauld put in a good effort in a Quest completing a couple of rounds, and Joe Gauld also took to the water in a Feva but found the tide challenging and didn't race – eventually taking a spill neat Friarton bridge.

Race 2, over a reduced triangular course, saw Jacob over the line at the start and then capsize in the process of returning to re-start. John Ferguson was first to A, followed by Euan. As the wind picked up to F3-4 James capsized whilst rounding A and Jacob capsized again on the way to B, temporarily losing his rudder. Euan was first to complete round 1 in the challenging conditions, but John took the lead from Euan with Andrew next, as Jacob took another spill. With a loud report James' mast snapped but he avoided capsize and managed to reach in to the shore on a much-reduced triangle of sail. Meanwhile John extended his lead. On round 3 Euan caught and passed John with Andrew 100yds back and Euan maintained his lead to the finish with John close behind.

Race 1:
1st John Ferguson (Bare Away)
2nd Andrew Porteous (Whooper)
3rd Euan Macdonald (Aero 7)

Race 2:
1st John Ferguson (Bare Away)
2nd Andrew Porteous (Whooper)
3rd Euan Macdonald (Aero 7)

Wednesday 15th August saw the resumption of our ACH series, but with very light Westerly wind, overcast skies and an 18:30 start only 4 boats took to the water. The first start was abandoned, with 3 boats over the line. On the restart John Ferguson with Kieran Foley-Hall as crew got away well in his Albacore with James in the Laser close behind and Munro in a Quest closing on him and Leonie in her Mirror close behind. Leonie got a nice run down the shore and rounded mark B ahead of Munro. James and John were neck & neck for the lead with Munro and Leonie also neck & neck 5 mins back. The race was shortened to 2 rounds and finished with John ahead of James followed by Munro then Leonie.

Race two was attempted, but with the ebbing tide and slackening wind no-one was able to progress very much up-river and racing was abandoned.

Race 1:
1st James Curley (Laser)
2nd Leonie Poor (Emmental)
3rd John Ferguson/Kieran Foley-Hall (Mirage)

Race 2: Abandoned

Thursday 16th August was the continuation of the ACH series with fair conditions and a fresh-moderate Westerly breeze. Race 1 took the fleet down round the small island beyond the Willowgate Fishery for a long first lap, followed by two rounds in front of the club. James Curley in the Laser then Andrew Porteus with Kieran Foley-Hall in his Albacore were first to re-appear, followed by John Ferguson in his Streaker and Doug Ogilvy sailing his Miracle single-handed. Andrew took the lead from James, but John remained close enough to gain the advantage on handicap.

Alan Jones in his Solo and Peter Bevan with visitor Mat from Dunning joined in for Race 2 and Leonie briefly took to the water in her Mirror before deciding the conditions were not for her. A clean start saw Andrew Porteus' Albacore into the lead with John Ferguson (Streaker) in second place and James Curley (Laser) continuing to show good skills since completing the training course just 2 months ago. Andrew, John and James continued to pull away however Andrew was not far enough ahead to win on handicap.

Race 1:
1st John Ferguson (Bare Away)
2nd James Curley (Laser)
3rd Andrew Porteus/Kieran Foley-Hall (Kelpie)

Race 2:
1st John Ferguson (Bare Away)
2nd James Curley (Laser)
3rd Andrew Porteus/Kieran Foley-Hall (Kelpie)

Sunday 19th August was scheduled for the annual Towback race, one of our longer down-river races, however with drizzly overcast conditions, very light Easterly wind and somewhat muted enthusiasm from those attending, a single Heathens race was conducted in front of the club with 2 rounds of a typically fiendish Eric Taylor course. Seven boats took to the water, once the drizzle had eased and the wind picked up slightly. Andrew Porteus in his Solo was uncharacteristically over the line at the start, so John Ferguson got away first, followed by Robin and Gillie in the Albacore and Peter and Anna in the Miracle. Leonie got into a fankle trying to round the first mark, ran into the side and eventually retired. John got baulked at the first mark, losing two places and Robin, James in a Laser and Peter pulled away from the rest of the fleet on the downwind leg. At the bottom mark Peter noticed that John's Streaker was holed below the waterline (having earlier blown over whilst on its trailer in the boat park). John stuffed a sponge into the hole and successfully sailed the rest of the race canted over to starboard! On lap 2 the fleet closed up a little, however Robin regained his lead after a tussle with James and Peter made best use of the light shifts along the North shore to overtake Euan's Aero and strike out for the line as Euan tried to pinch up on starboard and ran into the bank just before the line.

Race Result:
1st Peter Bevan/Anna Woodhead (Ptarmigan)
2nd James Curley (Laser)
3rd Andrew Porteous (Whooper)

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