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Moth Scottish National Championships and UK Inland Championships at Loch Lomond Sailing Club

by Chris Tilbrook 8 Oct 2019 09:11 BST
Scottish Moth National Championships and UK Inland Championships © Greg Pitt

Loch Lomond played host to the combined UK Inlands and Scottish Nationals, first race was the Island Race which gave competitors a chance to get familiar with the loch and its 22 islands, all of which look pretty similar with lots of trees, only a few had features such as jetties, buildings, Wallabies, and naked people.

Off the start its a short upwind leg around a mark and off downwind heading West passing Fad to starboard and Caillaich to port. Andrew Friend quickly draws out a lead followed by Paul Hignett, Ian Renilson and myself (Chris Tilbrook). The next turning mark is Murrin 4-5 miles west leaving to port. Andrew extends his lead and chooses to go far right heading to Galbriath before putting in a gybe, Paul myself and Ian stay more central gybing in pressure as the wind gets light and fickle.

Andrew and Ian take Murrin's SW side fairly close and are low-riding around to reach usable breeze on SE side of the island. Paul chooses to go well away from the island going over to far shoreline to stay on the foils, I went in the middle picking up some fluky gusts that got me most of the way before low-riding to the breeze running down between the SE of Murrin and the main shoreline. I get out first and up on the foils and heading to the turning mark which is Grange leaving to port, the others quickly gave chase and before we get to Grange Andrew gets back into the lead with Ian and Paul not far behind, I managed to find a nice little hole sit in, so I had to sit calmly and patiently await the next gust (not).

Cheers of encouragement for nearby naked Islanders saw me back up on the foils and heading between Grange and Torr where the others where low-riding down to mark I which is some 2 miles North and just East of Gathraith, There where several place changes on this leg with all four of us leading at some point.

The next leg is back up to leave Fad on the left as we head East again, there looked to be place changes going on with Paul, Ian and Andrew, I got lost and nearly went the wrong way mistaking Moan for Fad. Time was getting on and so we didn't get to go down Lonaig much to the disappointment for the Wallabies. Andrew gets the race, Paul second, Ian third, the rest of the fleet were shortened and headed to the line from Grange.

Friday evening was a pub meal and plenty of boat work and drinking.

Saturday morning and a few more boats arrive bringing up the total of eleven entries. The wind was from the ESE and pretty gusty 15-26 knts; we are back on the windward leeward course.

Off the line Andrew, Ian and Paul are off up the beat followed by the rest of the fleet and myself.

Andrew seems to find a good settled pace followed by Ian and Paul in the new Lithium. Most of the racing was between Ian and Paul as Andrew was showing good steady pace. Over the line its Andrew, Paul and Ian.

The wind gets up a little into race two, Andrew still seems to be dominating the race with Ian close on him from time to time, I finally get into gear and start to make my way up to third but only because Paul is lifting off the pedal and puts the Lithium into limp mode. Tom Graham gets himself a fourth sailing his Prowler.

Race three and waiting for the signals I happen to notice Katie Hughes's Ninja being driven "like its been stolen" down to the line up; it seems that Paul has decided to retire the Lithium as the gusts are getting really big and its still in testing phase. Off the start in race three and the battle continues between Andrew and Ian, the course is small and we are getting around in 3-4 mins a lap, I get a problem with the main bolt that holds the wand to the bowsprit so I have to pit stop to sort it and Paul gets through and there is no time to catch him up. Andrew grabs another win, Ian second then Paul.

Final race for the day and the fleet is getting smaller only seven start. Andrew and Ian continue with there battle, I can hang on for a while but they have that extra bit of control and speed. Sadly half way through Andrew breaks a wing bar which takes him out of finishing. Ian takes his first win and me second and Paul third. The rest of the fleet are still fairly new to the boat so they all did a great job of sticking it out and getting around the course.

The club put on dinner for the Moths, Flying fifteens and keelboats which was enjoyed by all followed up by lots of drinking.

Sunday morning and it all looked a bit on the light side, but the breeze started to fill in from the north. Spare boats were handed out to Andrew and Paul for the day and the decision was made to allow the results to carry on as there was no advantage.

Off the line and only some boats were foiling Ian and Donald Smith seem to get foiling and were gone, the rest of us made the best of it, turned out to be a bit of a low rider race. But every dog has his day and Donald smith gets himself a well deserved win followed up by Ian. I would have been third but three boat lengths from the finish mark in low-ride mode a crazy comes barging in on the foils in a stolen Prowler and grabs third.

The wind swings back to the East, the course is reset and we are off, the wind has increased to an unexpected 12-18 knts and building, Me and Ian pile up wind keeping close to each other leaving Paul and Andrew to fight out in their downgraded boats. Because of the wind direction its not a one tack beat and the wind is very gusty at the top mark making tacking tricky. I tried to keep Ian under pressure by staying close, but when he made a mistake so did I so its another win for Ian with me close second, Andrew also in a Ninja is third and Katie brings home a forth giving Paul a spanking.

Race 7 is under way. Its much the same Ian is like a dog with a bone I just cant seem to get him to break, he has a set pattern that he seems to stick to and although at times I got very close I could not get control of the race. Andrew always seemed to be there ready for if I made a big enough mistake to push me back to third. Ian wins, I grab second, Andrew third and Paul forth.

Final race its groundhog day basically the same only on the last lap I push too close to the island and go into a hole loosing Ian and being passed by Andrew and Paul. Finally free, I give chase crossing Andrew near the top of the upwind leg but only for him to sneak pass in front around the top mark, as we head downwind I can see Ian has finished so there is not a lot of time to get Andrew, as I set my final line up for the finish I see Andrew wipe out. I get second Andrew gets back up and finishes third, Paul forth.

A big congratulations to Ian Renilson who is crowned Inland UK and Scottish National champion.

On behalf of all competing I would like to Thank Loch Lomond SC for hosting a great event, our PRO Peter McLaren and everyone who gave up their time to man rescue boats etc.

Also to our sponsors Atomic UK and Saturn sails, Greg spent the whole weekend and Friday taking the great shots of the event, sorting the prizes and Tee shirts, Paul and Katie for the efforts in coordinating everything with the sailing club.

Eight out of eight races plus the island race - if you chose not to come because of the forecast then you missed out!

Overall Results:

1. Ian Renilson
2. Andrew Friend
3. Chris Tilbrook
4. Paul Hignett
5. Donald Smith
6. Tom Graham
7. Katie Hughes
8. Paul Myerscough
9. Sandy Day
10. Andrew Shannon
11. Brian Palmer

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