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Stoneways Marine 2021 - LEADERBOARD

HD Sails Scottish Solo Travellers at Bardowie

by Ross Watson 7 Sep 05:29 BST 4 September 2021
Scottish Solo Travellers at Bardowie © Diane Whyte

Saturday 4th September saw the latest round of the HD Sails Scottish Solo Travellers at Bardowie.

This is a small loch in a sheltered spot just outside Glasgow and with a high pressure area over the country the prospects for a decent breeze did not look promising. When we arrived we were pleased to see a light East/South East breeze blowing down the loch. Before we went out there was a choice of soups and hot food included in the entry fee - ideal for those of us who arrived hungry!

Whilst there was always some wind only the lighter sailors ever got to test the toe straps, and even that was only for brief periods. It was a day for watching the shifts, puffs and lulls coming down the loch and making the most of them.

The loch is narrow and with the wind coming slightly off the shore the race officers did very well to give us a decent course for the three races. We had a beat followed by a short tight reach across the loch then another beat with a run back down again. Bardowie have the biggest Solo fleet in the country and it was good to see 16 boats on the tight starting line, despite a few last minute call offs.

In race 1 the line was port biased and local sailor David Whyte showed us how it was done. Starting near the pin he quickly tacked onto port and calmly sailed up the middle of the course pulling out a big lead. Behind him was Paul McCombie who took a similar course up the beat and was second all the way round followed by Gary McFarlane. The first three seemed to have an uneventful race but there was a lot more action further back. The first windward mark got very crowded with lots of discussion and some boats forced to do turns. At the finish Kevan Gibb and Tony King were almost overlapped after a tight race.

The wind was similar in race two and the start line bias was the same. This time it was Ross Watson who made the best of the start managing an early tack onto port and into the lead. There was an extra mark added into the course this time and the leader very luckily passed it on the correct side despite forgetting it. Kevan Gibb was close behind and the two had a good race with Ross holding his lead to the finish. Upwind Kevan was judging the tricky lay lines better in the shifting wind but downwind Ross had the edge. Third once again was Gary McFarlane, always consistent in these conditions. The wind fell to its lightest at the end of this race and the fleet became well spread.

As we approached the last race there were several boats who could win overall. Once again the line seemed to have a port bias and David Whyte, Ross Watson and Malcolm Worsley started here and sailed on starboard until they had to tack to avoid the shore. However the lead was taken by Kevan Gibb who had started much further up the line and he was able to tack on top of the others. Malcolm was forced to tack away after being leebowed but came up smiling as he led round the first mark from Kevan, David and Ross. These four had an excellent race with lots of place changes between them. The last run proved crucial as Ross gybed out from the shore and found a puff which gave him an overlap inside Kevan at the leeward mark. He held this to the finish, crossing the line just two lengths in front of Kevan, followed by Malcolm and David.

This race finished just off the club so we were all ashore by 3pm with the prize giving an hour later. Patrick Burns, class president, presented the prizes with Ross Watson the winner followed closely by Kevan Gibb and David Whyte. As well as prizes for the first three there were some more HD Sails caps to hand out with Ali Gordon, Malcolm Worsley and David Whyte being the recipients this time.

The next event in the HD Sails Scottish Travellers is the Scottish Championship at Loch Tummel on September 18/19. With camping available at the club there is no excuse for missing it.

Overall Results:

1Ross Watson6112
2Kevan Gibb 4224
3David Whyte11045
4Gary McFarlane 3396
5Tony King5459
6Paul McCombie 2577
7Malcolm Worsley 7639
8Patrick Burns 119615
9Robert Signer1071117
10Colin Crichton981417
11Ali Gordon8111019
12Charles Brecknell 1314821
13Stewart Carrie 12121324
14Richard Davies14Dnf1226
15Douglas Hay1513Dnf28

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