Please select your home edition
Edition
Ocean Safety 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Scottish Open Challenger Championships at Solway Yacht Club

by Marion Edwards 14 Jul 16:18 BST 10-11 July 2021
Scottish Open Challenger Championships at Solway © John Sproat

The Scottish Open Challenger Championships were held at the Solway Yacht Club, Kippford (Dumfries and Galloway) on the weekend 10-11 July. A small (but perfectly formed) fleet of six Challengers were assembled, cleaned and polished by Friday evening.

On Saturday morning the weather was not encouraging but to be fair this was no great surprise as the weather forecast had been predicting light winds for a week. Local sailors said the very light north westerly breeze at the club would not reach the race area due to an inconvenient hill. Salvation would only come in the form of a sea breeze (but the omens were favourable). The fleet was launched as soon as the tide permitted with the hope of completing two or possibly three races.

For four of the six sailors this was their first racing since 2019, whereas Val Millward (312) and Graham Hall (270) have been able to compete in club racing at Rutland SC. This may explain why Val was able to say she made a good start to race 1 whereas Duncan Greenhalgh (28) said he "made a right mess of it".

Val held the lead to the wing mark but after rounding it Graham got a lift, overtook her and never looked back for the remainder of the three lap race. Val had a comfortable second while Duncan clawed his way back to third. Stephen Thomas Bate (238) took fourth.

The second race saw Val and Graham covering each other up the beat followed by numerous place changes throughout the two laps. Eventually Graham came out on top but only by 10-15 seconds. Duncan collected another third. John McPartlin (236) had his best race of the day to come home fourth.

The race officer decided he could squeeze in a single lap race 3. Val made "an awful start" but was consoled by the fact that Graham's was worse. The pair of them again played tag throughout but this time Val emerged victorious. Duncan was third (again) but felt he was beginning to chase the Rutland pair.

Things were more interesting for the remainder of the fleet. At the leeward mark Stephen Thomas went for an inside overlap on Stephen Laycock (233) and unfortunately touched the mark forcing him to do a penalty turn, this not only let Stephen get away but also allowed John through. Stephen decided not to follow everyone else on the beat to finish but went his own way up the middle where he found some wind to take fourth.

So at the end of the day Graham had a slender, one point, lead over Val with Duncan sitting in a comfortable third. The remaining three sailors were separated by a single point. To round off the afternoon a lovely high tea was served on the lawn in the sunshine.

Covid restrictions prevented the usual regatta dinner in the village hall. However, the Commodore had kindly reserved a number of tables in a local pub so the majority of the fleet were able to eat together albeit at socially distanced tables.

The weather forecast for Sunday had shown better wind but the reality was that, although it started in a southerly or south westerly direction, it never built beyond the strength of Saturday.

Race 4 was difficult because the wind hadn't kicked in. At the front of the fleet it was business as usual with a one, two, three for Graham, Val and Duncan. Stephen Thomas had a good reach to the leeward mark, gaining over 100m on Stephen to take fourth place.

Race 5 had the most "positive wind" (Val's words) of the day. Val and Graham continued to play tag with Val coming out on top and Duncan getting another third.

With one race to go Val needed a win to take the event otherwise it would go to Graham. However, the race saw a real upset. At the start Duncan pushed both Graham and Val over the line. Graham realised and immediately did a 360 which took him back over the line and he set off in pursuit of Duncan.

Val was less lucky and took longer to return and restart which left her with a lot of catching up to do and while she sailed an excellent and fast race she could only manage third. The race was won by Duncan with Graham second.

Prize-giving took place over another, equally good, high tea on the lawn. Graham is the new Scottish champion and he was presented with the Sandeman Trophy for first overall. Val was second overall and was also presented with the trophy for first (and only) lady helm. Duncan won the Clyde Cruising Club Challenger Trophy for winner of the last race. He was also third overall and first Scottish resident.

All in all an excellent regatta, and perhaps the last word should be left to John (fourth overall) who said "it was like sailing in the Mediterranean" with the sun and warm temperatures!

Thanks are due to Willie Patterson and Stewart Biggar (Race Officer and assistant) and the safety crews; to Mary, Deirdre, Maureen and Val who did all the catering; to Robert Dinwiddie (Commodore) and all at Solway Yacht Club, particularly those who just happened to be in the dinghy park when we needed help pulling the Challengers up the slip.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st270Graham HallRutland Sailing Club11‑21227
2nd312Val MillwardRutland Sailing Club22121‑38
3rd28Duncan GreenhalghBassenthwaite Sailing Club‑33333113
4th236John McPartlinLoch Venachar Sailing Club545‑64422
5th238Stephen Thomas BateAnnandale Sailing Club45‑645523
6th233Stephen LaycockLoch Ken‑66456627

Related Articles

UK Challenger Championships at Rutland
First Challenger regatta held in England since the 2019 nationals Sixteen Challengers, twelve local and four visiting boats gathered at Rutland Sailing Club for the 2021 UK Challenger Championships. This was the first Challenger regatta held in England since the 2019 UK Championships and it was good to be back. Posted on 14 Sep
Revving up for the Tiger Trophy
Next up in the Seldén SailJuice 'Winter' Series! If you ever thought of competing in the legendary John Merricks Tiger Trophy but didn't fancy getting cold at Rutland Water, next weekend is your opportunity. The Tiger Trophy marks the finale of this season's long-extended series. Posted on 22 Aug
RYA Sailability: From Lockdown and Beyond
Sailability clubs and centres have gone through eight months of upheaval From closing completely to re-opening under strict restrictions, Sailability clubs and centres, like so many sports organisations, have gone through eight months of upheaval. Posted on 12 Nov 2020
Returning Tallulah win 2020 Concours d'Elegance
Stunning Scorpion at the RYA Dinghy Show 2020 The 2020 Concours d'Elegance at the RYA Dinghy Show has been awarded to the Scorpion Tallulah, owned by Jerry Hannibus. Posted on 29 Feb 2020
40 Years On: The Story of the Challenger
How a disabled but adventurous lady worked with a brilliant yacht designer It all started in the late 1970s when a disabled but adventurous lady worked with a brilliant yacht designer to produce a fast, exciting single-person dinghy that a severely disabled person could sail. Posted on 22 Dec 2019
P&B Challenger UK Championships at Rutland
Unusually, the fleet included two syndicate boats The UK Challenger Championships took place at Rutland Sailing Club over the weekend 13-15 September. The event was sponsored by Pinnell & Bax who generously provided prizes worth over £200. The whole fleet was also clothed in their new P&B sails. Posted on 16 Sep 2019
English Challenger Championships at Ogston
A healthy turn out of fourteen boats over the weekend The English Challenger Championships took place at Ogston Sailing Club over the weekend 24-25 August. The event was generously sponsored by the local companies of H.A. Briddon Ltd and Jons Tyres. Posted on 26 Aug 2019
Sailability Scotland SCIO T5 Challenger Regatta
Held at Bardowie Loch, near Milngavie Regatta five of six in the Challenger Traveller Series took place at Bardowie Loch, near Milngavie which is the home of Clyde Cruising Club (Dinghy Section) on the 17th and 18th August 2019. The event was supported by Duncan's Yacht Chandlers in Glasgow. Posted on 20 Aug 2019
Sailability Scotland SCIO T4 at Loch Earn
Seven sailors take part over the weekend Sailability Scotland SCIO's fourth Challenger Traveller Regatta took place over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of August, 2019. Seven sailors took part from five different clubs in Scotland. Posted on 8 Aug 2019
Challenger Welsh Open Championships
Valve issues mean Llyn Brenig water level was 2m lower than normal The Welsh Open Challenger Championships were held at Llyn Brenig Sailing Club. Seven Challengers sailors (three from England, four from Scotland, none from Wales) arrived at the club on Friday to find the water level 2m lower than normal. Posted on 24 Jul 2019