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Scottish Optimist Travellers at Spey Valley Sailing Club

by Alec Logan 24 Jul 2006 07:45 BST 22-23 July 2006
Action from the fourth Scottish Optimist Travellers event on Loch Morlich © Alec Logan

Loch Morlich (geography note – a glacial kettle lake in the heart of the Cairngorm massif) was the centre of Scottish Oppie sailing, weekend past. Conditions sultry, often sunny, with a successful two day training clinic, then 17 Oppies for the fourth Scottish traveller of the season.

Race 1 started in midgy conditions with minimal wind. The first “windward” leg evolved seamlessly into a gentle run, and the race became something of a lottery. Katherine Stanley-Whyte (RNCYC) eased through for her first win at a traveller with some big names trailing round disconsolately amidst surprised regatta fleet sailors. But big names take such reverses in their stride and Anna Burnett (RNCYC) won Races 2 and 3 convincingly. At the halfway point only four points separated the top 5 boats, with Shona Ross from the home club, and back at her best, leading. In the regatta fleet Andrew Mitchell (CCC) led but, for once this season, did not win all three races – Race 1 was won by Jack Gillespie (CCC). Evening hospitality on the glacial beach at Loch Morlich Water Sports Centre and an excellent BBQ.

Day 2 and the wind filled in nicely from the west, shifts settling to a more conservative 45 degrees or so, and, ultimately, champagne conditions! Anna won the traveller by winning Races 4 and 5, though in the latter hard pressed for a long time by birthday-boy Andrew McGowan (CCC) who managed third, his first podium finish. In Race 6 James Logan (CCC) continued to sail consistently – consistently indifferent starts, consistent top third finishes, and a consistently good final race, winning it to pip Shona for second overall.

In the regatta fleet Andrew Mitchell won Races 4, 5 and 6, and heads for the National Champs at Pwllheli in great form. Jack Gillespie was second just ahead of Jack Borrell a dogged third, and we’ll be seeing those names again. As we’ll see those of Shonagh Mitchell and Alasdair Logan who both made their debuts and finished long races.

Many thanks to Spey Valley Sailing Club for their hospitality, to this weekend’s coach Kim Ross, and to the RYAS High Performance Committee for more support for Scottish Oppie sailing. Most thanks to Stuart Gibson, fiendishly good Albacore sailor, who stands down as the long-suffering IOCA Scottish rep. Stuart has guided Scottish Oppie sailing (and therefore Scottish dinghy racing) to new heights – the burgeoning regatta fleet is his legacy!

Overall Results:

Main Fleet
1 Anna Burnett (RNCYC) GBR 5540, 6 pts
2 James Logan (CCC/SLSC) GBR 5433, 15 pts
3 Shona Ross (SVSC) GBR 5518, 16 pts
4 Ross Stanley-Whyte (RNCYC) GBR 5519, 22 pts
5 Kae Clarke (RNCYC) GBR 5293, 25 pts
6 Katherine Stanley-Whyte (RNCYC) GBR 5454, 27 pts

Regatta Fleet
1 Andrew Mitchell (CCC) GBR 4647, 5 pts
2 Jack Gillespie (CCC) GBR 4974, 11 pts
3 Jack Borrell (CCC) GBR 4175, 13 pts

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