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Harken One Design Regatta at Largs Sailing Club

by Martin Latimer 16 Jun 10:57 BST 12-13 June 2021

What an event! Fantastic weather, great courses, well run races and over 60 boats in 4 classes. Largs Sailing Club excelled themselves, over the weekend of 12th & 13th of June, with a fantastic event sponsored in HARKEN.

Their first major regatta of the year, the Harken One Design Regatta, a brand new event to Scotland for Musto Skiffs, D-Zeros, RS400s and 29ers.

21 Musto Skiffs, 21 D-Zeros, 13 RS400s and 5 29ers entered for the event showing just how keen people are to get back to competitive racing after a very extended COVID break.

Day One (Saturday 12th)

After a slightly bleak and damp start to the day, the weather cleared to deliver sunshine with brisk 14-16 knot winds from the west, which can be challenging coming over the Isle of Cumbrae; but the brave race officer, Chris Nichols, and his team of mark layers made what turned to be a great decision to set long courses across the Largs Channel and risking getting fairly close to the island shore, with three fleets doing longer windward-leeward courses and the pesky D-Zeros being sent off to play slightly to the south on their own semi-quad courses.

The wind held, giving shifty but great racing. The beats were probably 0.8nm but boy did they feel longer, and three or more laps tested early season fitness! Four races were sailed but luckily our kind Race Officer let us off with two shorter races in races 3 & 4. Racing was really tight in all the fleets, magnifying the effect of missed shifts and dodgy mark roundings.

Day Two (Sunday 13th)

A sunny warm day dawned to reveal a shift of wind into the south with signs that things might be getting more spirited. Whilst it was predominantly wind with tide all day, the waves were also starting to build - it turned out to be a day for the heroes.

Rising early for a 10.30 start, some of the more enthusiastic partyers were beginning to realise this might be a taxing day and boy was it! The race team were kind in repeating the slightly shortened courses of the latter part of the previous day's racing, but that was small compensation for what was to come. The wind built throughout the day from 16-18 knots, rising through the races to top out at 28kts and maybe more on the eastern side of the channel where the waves grew to a metre plus to give some seriously entertaining downwind legs for the D-Zeros and big blasts mid-channel for the asymmetric boats. The Musto Skiffs were hitting speeds around 20kts!

A day for the brave and BIG stories of the waves that didn't get away. In the warmer weather (18-20 degrees C) it seems swimming was popular too! Chris Nicol's benevolent side shone through when he decided to call it a day after three races and send the fleets home for a bit of TLC, Burgers and Beer. Thanks Chris, the Race Officer's team, shore crew and the fantastic hard-working mark layers.

The final test of the day was for the errant "Slipway Catchers", whilst a little decorum was instilled by the "guard rib / flight controller" the Mustos were keen to continue their Kamikaze ways with hi-speed, maybe not so controlled landings more akin to a landing on the "flat tops of WW11" than a considered slipway approach...

A huge thanks go to event sponsor HARKEN and Largs SC, DZero.co.uk, Stuart Brewing, Hyde Sails and Bosuns Table for supporting and producing such a fantastic weekend of sailing and socialising - Bosuns... the post race double stack burgers were life savers straight after racing!

Congratulations to the winners:

  • Jono Shelley - Musto Skiff (Largs SC)
  • Niel Ritchie - D-Zero (Aberdeen and Stonehaven SC)
  • Michael Sims & Mark Lunn - RS400 (Carsington SC)
  • Roo Purves & Oliver Bull, 29er (East Lothian Yacht Club)
Full results can be found here...

The next big events for Largs Sailing Club are the 29er Nationals on 24th - 30th July, followed by the RSK D-Zero Nationals 20th-22nd August and the Largs Regatta on 28th August.

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