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MYA Scottish District 2021 Wooden IOM Championship at Greenock

by Richard Rowan 13 Oct 08:02 BST 9 October 2021

Eight skippers from throughout Scotland brought their wooden hull IOMs to Greenock for the MYA Scottish District 2021 Wooden IOM Championship.

This was despite an adverse weather forecast - 2.5 days of yellow weather warnings for heavy rain finishing at Saturday lunchtime and a southerly wind direction which is not a good for Greenock. However, it didn't really turn out like that - travelling conditions were relatively good, the wind direction had enough west in it to enable a good course to be laid with the only downside being fairly constant rain through the morning session.

It was decided by the Race Team under RO Richard Rowan to keep the course simple - the course for the entire day being windward-leeward with a wing mark on the port side of the windward mark and a single leeward mark. This course remained the same throughout the day other than switching between a couple of windward marks to optimise the direction of the beat. The wind direction for the day was mostly SSW and to get a good beat, the course was laid much further into the west end of the lake than usual for Greenock. The result was very challenging to the skippers with constant wind shifts but none of the port tack lifts commonly seen along the far shore at Greenock in this wind direction. And just to add to the difficulty, the windward marks were just about on the limit of adequate visibility.

Racing started promptly at 10am in a good wind strength just below the top of #1 rig level. It gradually built until mid-morning and then, while Race 6 was under way, a heavy squall came through resulting in maximum difficulty getting down the runs for all of the fleet who were still using #1 suit, other than one boat which was already on the smaller #2 suit. All the boats using their #1 rig promptly changed down to #2 rig, but unfortunately by this stage, the heavy conditions had taken its toll and the fleet was down to seven boats.

The wind strength remained at #2 rig level until shortly after lunchtime when the wind started to ease. A couple more boats dropped out when the time came to move back to #1 rig due to earlier damage. By the end of sailing at 15:30, the wind had dropped to just below mid #1 rig level. So, the event finished with five boats still racing. Eighteen races were completed which meant that three discards applied.

Ian Dundas sailing his Corbie 6 took an early lead by impressively winning Race 1 and then in Race 2 managed to sail himself down into a 7th place. However, thereafter his performance was excellent. No matter what conditions, no matter what situations he found himself in, over the rest of the day he posted 1st and 2nd places, other than one 3rd place. A well-earned championship victory.

Tich Summers sailing his Buzz III design gave Ian some good competition but seemed to struggle a bit more at times in the conditions - he fell off the lead of the event by posting four results lower than 3rd position.

Third boat home was John Owens sailing a Corbie 1. John was consistently hot on the transoms of Ian and Tich, had a number of 1st and 2nd places but had to carry in his final points a couple of higher scores which could not be discarded.

John Taylor made the long trip from Portsmouth up to Greenock to take part in the event and was sailing his new Sushie design. It is probably safe to say that he was still bedding in the boat but still managed a credible overall 4th place.

Mention must be made of Davie Stewart who was sailing his Corbie 1. In the "big squall" Race 6 he was on the right rig (#2) at the right time - Davie came flying past all the #1 rigged boats and took an easy win. Unfortunately, wind and rain subsequently got the better of Davie's gear later in the day forcing his retirement.

Finally, Ian Davidson from Greenock MY&PBC with his Corbie 5 deserves congratulations for being one of the five boats still sailing at the end of the day. It earned him 5th place overall.

Over the course of the day, a number of the skippers in the DF65 fleet new to Greenock in 2021 volunteered as Race Team members and others came to watch (these new radio control sailors being full sized yacht sailors the rest of the time). Along with the Race Team and some other Greenock members, we were all treated to an enthralling match race between Ian Dundas and Tich Summers in the last race. It was nip and tuck all the way, with the lead changing frequently, until Ian engineered a slightly better run into the finishing line to beat Tich by 4 to 5 boat lengths. It was a super climax to the day.

In terms of wooden boat designs, there were four Corbies sailing and they all looked nimble in the different conditions. The other boats were the Tich Summers own design and built Buzz III, the new Sushie design by John Taylor (an evolution of his Rubix), and a new self design and build by Gordon Allison which he has named Tergo. Gordon describes it as having a Vickers-type deck plan with the underwater shape in between an Alternative and other modern designs.

At the prize-giving, Commodore Hughie Shields thanked everyone for travelling to this event and handed-over to RO Richard Rowan to announce the results. The MYA Scottish District 2021 Wooden IOM Champion, Ian Dundas, thanked the Race Team and Greenock MY&PBC for laying on an excellent event.

Overall Results:

PosSkipperSail NoDesignClubPts
1Ian Dundas38Corbie 6Aberdeen MYC22
2Brian Summers7Buzz IIITayside RSC31
3John Owens33Corbie 1Aberdeen MYC37
4John Taylor28SushieGreenock MY&PBC68
5Ian Davidson26Corbie 5Greenock MY&PBC79
6David Stewart30Corbie 1Tayside RSC85
7Robert Rooney71Corbie 5Paisley MYC86
8Gordon Allison62TergoAyr Bay RYC124

Race team:

  • From Greenock MY&PBC: Richard Rowan (RO), Bill Terry, Simon Thomson, Cameron Still, Stuart Laing, Alan Westlake
  • From Paisley MYC: David Smith (Scorer)

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