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Optimists Scottish Travellers at Lochaber Sailing Club

by Alec Logan 7 Jun 2006 07:36 BST 3-4 June 2006
Big hills & small boats for the Optimist Scottish Travellers at Lochaber © Alec Logan

Nearly twenty Oppies turned up at Lochaber Sailing Club with snow lingering on Ben Nevis and tides sucking in and out of Loch Linnhe. The second Scottish traveller of the season, and raced with the Scottish Toppers. All the best sailors were there including Anna Burnet (RNCYC), fresh from the Oppie Selections and her GBR Worlds berth, where she will be only the third Scottish sailor to sail at that level.

In a light southerly, Race 1, Anna glided into an early lead, with most of the fleet struggling to round the windward mark against the tide. As the wind died, she rounded the bottom mark with a narrow lead, but tacked out into the tide while James Logan (CCC) headed for the beach then tacked out to win the race.

In Race 2 James started well and won comfortably. Race 3 was a tense affair with the tide turning. Anna had it in the bag until the last few boat lengths when the race officer shortened course as she tacked to cover, languidly. Drew Airlie (St Mary’s Loch SC) nipped through to win. James third.

Overnight a classical demonstration of Highland hospitality – brilliant BBQ, keeping midges at bay, then keys to the clubhouse for campers, plus a wood-burning stove. It really could not get better!

Sunday, with firmer winds, blowing 2-3, SW, up Loch Linnhe. Classical Oppie racing ensued with 4-5 possible winners per race. James started well in Race 4, controlled the first beat, then sailed away to win. In Race 5 Nathan Forrester (CCC) built up a good lead, but was reeled in by James, Anna and Ross Stanley-Whyte (RNCYC). The second beat was a tense rock-dodging affair as sailors tacked close against the shore to stay out of the tide. James squeezed through to win, with Nathan holding off Anna for a fine second. Final race was dominated initially by Dean Gillespie (CCC). Again the second beat proved decisive and unfortunately Dean and Anna ended up pinned against the windward mark by the tide. James nipped past for his fifth win of the weekend and won the traveller.

In the regatta fleet Andrew Mitchell (CCC) dominated from start to finish with five first places. Jack Gillespie (CCC), who had his eighth birthday party at the recent Inlands, was second. Andrew Davies (CCC), in his first outing at a traveller, trailed round last, but stoically, for most of the weekend. In the final race, teeth gritted, he scored a third – his smile as he crossed the line was a highlight not to be forgotten!

Many thanks to Lochaber Sailing Club – a wonderful place to sail!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubPts
1st GBR 5433 James Logan CCC 
2nd GBR 5540 Anna Burnet RNCYC 11 
3rd FRA 23204 Drew Airlie St Mary's Loch SC 21 
4th GBR 5435 Nathan Forrester CCC 21 
5th GBR 5454 Katherine Stanley-Whyte RNCYC 23 

Full results at www.scottish-optimists.org.uk/Results/2006_Lochaber.html

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