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Scottish District 2021 IOM Travellers 3 at Aberdeen Model Yacht Club

by John Owens 21 Sep 2021 12:10 BST 18 September 2021
Race one start during the Scottish District 2021 IOM Travellers 3 at Forfar Loch © Bill Odger

The event was hosted by Aberdeen MYC at Forfar Loch. All boats were check-weighed by Steve Taylor (the IOMGBR Class Technical Officer) fully rigged for sailing with #1 rig and batteries as part of registration.

At 09:45 under a blue sky, RO John Owens assembled the skippers for the customary Skippers' Briefing. It was acknowledged that the forecast variable wind direction and strength would be challenging for good course setting and the indulgence of participants was requested. In addition, the eight skippers were reminded that all incidents should be resolved (politely and promptly) on the water although the MYA Scottish District SSI's include the option for post-race Arbitration to try to avoid a full Protest Hearing.

As standard for the Scottish District IOM Travellers' events, a windward-leeward course was set by the Race Team of John Owens, Steve Taylor and Bill Odger. The first race started just after 10:00 with a westerly beat in very light airs. Regrettably, during the race, some boats were affected by weed and this continued throughout the day. Davie Stewart (30) with his wooden Corbie 1 sailed into a hole on the final beat and was pipped by a bow-bumper to 1st by Richard Rowan (85) sailing his green Cheinz.

During Race #1, the westerly breeze died and then switched requiring the course for Race #2 to be set for an easterly beat on a shortened course due to the very light airs. Ian Dundas (38) with his wooden Corbie 6 won with Tich Summers (07) 2nd with his wooden Buzz III, Davie Steward 3rd and Sandy Mackay (58) 4th with his BritPop! Race #3 was on a very similar course to Race #2 and was won by Tich Summers followed by Richard Rowan and Ian Dundas. Race #4 was won by Tich with Davie 2nd and Richard 3rd. Throughout these races in very light airs, it was a case of keeping the boats moving (preferably forward!) and avoiding holes in what little wind there was. Of course, the weed was a constant and frustrating lottery.

Over lunch and under the very warm sun, experiences were shared, sympathy given for good positions lost to weed and for some there was boat tuning in an attempt to eke out an additional boat length of performance. Some took the opportunity to change into shorts given the lovely warm weather.

Race #5 was back to a westerly beat in very light airs on a shortened course. The conditions were compared by several skippers as "watching paint dry". Nevertheless, the race was completed with Ian 1st followed by Tich and then Richard with Davie close behind. This race was followed by a delay as the wind completely dropped leaving the loch with a mirror-like surface - although beautiful it is not what you want when you would like to race!

With the paint now dry, Race #6 was started with a westerly beat on a shortened course. This was won by Ian followed by Richard 2nd, Davie 3rd and Colin McGinnis (45) 4th with his wooden Buzz IIIc. For Race #7 the breeze started to fill in (almost a mid #1 rig!) requiring a further course change with an easterly beat but still on a shortened course. Of course, all this course changing was challenging for skippers to remember which marks and port or starboard roundings (sorry guys - blame the wind gods!). Perhaps this is the source of the saying, "You can't teach old sea dogs new courses!"?

It was beginning to look like the breeze might hold so the course was lengthened for Race #8 which was won by Tich followed by Ian, Richard and Colin. In the meantime, Bob Wilson (88) in his wooden Buzz I and Sandy were consistently very close to the leaders and often within just a few boat lengths of a podium place. Stewart Campbell (50) with his Kantun 2 was experiencing perhaps more than his fair share of weed issues but nevertheless put in some good races as the wind picked up in the afternoon.

The big news for Race #9 was that the breeze was holding (hurray!) allowing the same long course to be sailed. With scores tight for the overall lead, the race was a chess match of keeping boat speed but also covering your opponents. It was won by Richard followed by Tich, Ian and Colin who was prospering in the better wind conditions. Race #10 was the final race of the day sailed on the same course - three consecutive races sailed on the same course! With the battle still wide open for the overall lead, again the leading skippers were watching each other as well as the other skippers who would also be keen to pounce. After a tense tactical race, it was eventually won by Ian followed by Richard, Tich and Bob.

At the end of racing there was a collective sigh of relief! Given the conditions and wind delayed racing, everyone seem relieved that concentration levels could be relaxed. Fortunately, it was clear that all the skippers had enjoyed competing with an excellent spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie. Smiles seemed to abound and fun had been enjoyed under a beautiful sunny sky.

MYA Scottish District IOM Travellers 3 Results:

PosHelmSail NoPts
1Ian Dundas3813
2Tich Summers714
3Richard Rowan8517
4Davie Stewart3028
5Colin McGinnis4538
6Bob Wilson8845
7Sandy Mackay5854
8Stewart Campbell5054

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