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Kippford Week 2021 at Solway Yacht Club

by Ian Purkis 15 Aug 2021 23:41 BST

After the very successful 2021 Solway Yacht Club Cadet Week with good weather throughout, it was grey skies and poor forecasts that welcomed sailors to the 2021 Kippford Week. Fortunately, tide times had required a Sunday first day instead on the traditional Monday start, but at least it gave Principal Race Officer, Lindsay Tosh, and the Race Committee a better weather window, two races each day in each class being planned. With entrants from far and wide, as well as the well-established home fleet, stiff competition was guaranteed, and it was overcast skies with strong gusty winds that greeted those heading out on Sunday morning.

As the larger cruising yachts reached the start line out in the Solway, followed closely by the Flying Fifteen keelboats, the four dinghy fleets launched for the inshore courses. Everywhere, it was immediately apparent that conditions were going to be testing. Club Secretary John Sproat, sailing one of the Flying Fifteens, described the conditions as like being in an "eccentric washing machine with added pressure washer out in the Firth. It was full-on planning with spinnaker and max speed reaches!". Nevertheless, two races for the Flying Fifteens were held and the leading crew immediately emerged; two firsts for father and daughter crew of Hamish and Sally Mackay set the bar high.

Inshore, the fast H1 handicap fleet included several Olympic Finn class dinghies as well as a couple of powerful catamarans, and it was the Finns of Stewart Mitchell and Mark Crowther with a win apiece that were out in front. Dominant in the medium handicap H2 fleet from race 2 onwards was Duncan Greenhalgh in his Challenger trimaran, chased by a trio of GP14s headed by the masterly John Broadbent and his crew Anne Craddock. Plus a second Challenger of Stephen Thomas Bate. Included in with the H2 race was a fleet of Laser Radials, Duncan Blandford scoring two class wins on day 1. The H3 fleet featured all younger sailors with Dominic Colbeck in his RS Tera successfully "Tera-ising" his rivals with back-to-back wins.

Day 2 arrived with similar conditions but a change in wind direction created a combination of windless dead-spots while elsewhere inshore, more strong gusts. The H1 fleet saw a first time Kippford Week win for the Solway Yacht Club Cadet Captain James Bishop in his Laser, the first no doubt of many to come, with Mitchell second. Greenhalgh scored two more H2 wins but another master of Kippford sailing, Stewart Biggar, close second in the first race.

Then, in the second race of the day, a different crew were challenging; the GP14 of Mark Lewis and Beatrice Overend claimed second. In the Radials, Megan Greaves-Martin, the Cadet Week winner two weeks earlier, took the first race, Simon Wilson getting the class win in the second race of the day. In the H3 class, Emily Biggar and her crew, Lewis Alexander, in their RS Feva took the first race win.

Offshore it was two more wins for the Mackay crew but in the Cruiser class John Searle and his crew of Gareth Jones, Andrew Bodenham and Stewart Monaghan in the Pegasus 800 were in close competition with previous winners David Henderson and crew David Butler in their Hawk 20.

Day 3 and initially with no wind, the fleets were towed out to the starting area just as the tall ship, "La Malouine" came into the estuary looking magnificent under sail, seemingly bringing a pleasant breeze in with her. Racing got under way once more and in the Flying Fifteens the Mackay dominance continued, despite a close chase at times from the Colin Filer / Jamie Gascoigne crew.

Sadly, the cruiser race was declared void later after confusion over the race finishing line. Inshore it was yet another different crew of Ian Holden and Nicola Nelson in their RS400 that took the H1 fast handicap class win but in the H2 fleet it was more of the Greenhalgh Challenger with the Broadbent GP14 second in both races.

But very sadly, that was it!

Day 4 dawned stormy and with poor visibility, the Race Committee tried to find sheltered water for competition to continue but as the race start time approached, the inevitable cancellation of all racing for the day was announced. The final Day 5, initially at least, seemed more promising but despite good visibility, the wind was strengthening and now exceeded the speed of the previous day. Again, the Race Committee went through their Risk Assessment process and again, the inevitable cancellation followed.

So, at the end of Day 5, a rather truncated set of results was published and a socially distanced prize-giving followed. As well as collecting the Solway Salver for their Flying Fifteen fleet win, Hamish and Sally Mackay were awarded the magnificent Prince of Wales trophy for their outstanding performance, winning every one of the six races held.

Cruiser results:
1st Pegasus 800; John Searle, Gareth Jones, Stewart Monaghan and Andrew Bodenham
2nd Hawk 20; David Henderson and David Butler
3rd Hunter Horizon 21; Sandy Mair and Alistair Johnstone
4th Hunter 20; Robert Dinwiddie, David Wood and Cameron Daly
5th Hawk 20; Angus Campbell and David Harding
6th Delphia Classic 700; Fiona & Gordon Blandford
7th Venturer 22; Louise Allan and Elaine Ross
8th Hunter Horizon 28; Dougie Waddell and Kate Howatson-Kerr

Flying Fifteen results:

1st Hamish and Sally Mackay
2nd Colin Filer and Jamie Gascoigne
3rd Chris Taylor and Stephen Gaughan
4th Scott Train and Anne Stewart
5th Jim Holland and Ian Murgatroyd
6th Peter Hammond and John Sproat
7th Gordon Daly and Jane Gascoigne

H1 Fast Handicap results:

1st Stewart Mitchell (Finn)
2nd Mark Crowther (Finn)
3rd Simon Roberts (Laser)
4th Ian Holden and Nicola or Peter Nelson (RS400)
5th Tim Colbeck (Laser)
6th James Bishop (Laser)
7th Mark and Emma or Anna Simpson (National 12)
8th Bartholomew Franklin (Laser)
9th Caitlin Ross and Pippa BensonRS200)
10th Jack Jardine and Alex Lammie (Fireball)
11th Scott and Nicola McColm (RS400)
12th Alex Glendinning (Vortex)
13th Finn Mitchell and Ellie Rowand (F18 catamaran)
14th Keith Veasey (Finn)
15th Ben Ibbotson and Emma James (Hobie 16 catamaran)
16th Matthew Murray-Downing and crew (RS400)

H2 Medium Handicap results:

1st Duncan Greenhalgh (Challenger)
2nd John Broadbent and Anne Craddock (GP14)
3rd Stephen Thomas Bate (Challenger)
4th Stewart Biggar (Laser 4.7)
5th Mark Lewis & Beatrice Overend (GP14)
6th Douglas Hay (Solo)
7th Ian & Margaret Purkis (Firefly)
8th Philippa Howie & Louisa Birdsall (Wanderer)
9th Ross Crawford-Paul and Elaine Herlihy (GP14)
10th Lilli Bell (Byte C1)

Laser Radial results:

1st Simon Wilson
2nd Duncan Blandford
3rd Finlay Train
4th Megan Greaves-Martin
5th Lucy Bodenham
6th Hamish MacDonald
7th Emma Lane
8th Fiona Grierson

H3 Slow Handicap results:

1st Dominic Colbeck (RS Tera)
2nd Emily Biggar & Lewis Alexander (RS Feva XL)
3rd Toby Iglehart (Topper)
4th Tamsin Wallace & Mhairi McFadzean (RS Feva XL)
5th Jacob and James Colbeck (Mirror)
6th Katie Harris & Jack Johnstone (RS Feva XL)
7th Jack Vivers (Topper)

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