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HD Sails Scottish Solo Championship at Prestwick Sailing Club

by Ross Watson 26 May 08:07 BST 22 May 2022
HD Sails Scottish Solo Championship at Prestwick © Tom Carey

The Solo class arrived at Prestwick for the HD Sails Scottish Solo Championship at Prestwick SC. This venue on the west coast has excellent sea sailing conditions and the forecast moderate to fresh south westerly did not disappoint. Before the start of the first race Kevan Gibb thought the conditions were perfect - he was right.

In the changing room there were the usual moans about not having sailed yet this season but no one took any notice. Kevan discovered that after some months in a sailing bag a wet spray top might be dry but it does smell. Ross Watson did not discover he had left his tiller extension behind until hoisting his sail on the beach. Class President Patrick Burns dashed to the dinghy park and borrowed one from an RS300 which fitted albeit rather long! Sadly Patrick gashed his leg on a trailer so could not sail.

Once afloat we found a good breeze with plenty of choppy waves to contend with upwind. It was not going to be a day for the lightweights. Race 1 started bang on time and Charlie Brecknell made a good start by the committee boat and led for the first two laps before Stuart Gibson passed him on the last beat. Keith Milroy was next in his first sail of the season. Downwind everyone found several waves to surf down.

After a very quick turnaround the second race began and Kevan Gibb began to show his form coming through to take the win. Tony King had missed race 1 but was second in this one followed by Keith Milroy. The third race had a similar pattern with Kevan winning but this time Keith moved up to second with Stuart third.

Getting ashore was a bit trickier than launching with the tide now almost up to the bottom of the slip but there was plenty of help from club members. After a beer in the club bar many of the fleet enjoyed a curry in the clubhouse and a few more beers. A few select members of the fleet then headed into town for more beer which did not seem to affect performances on Sunday.

Sunday dawned with grey skies and at least as much wind as on Saturday. There was much groaning as damp wetsuits were put on but Ian Fleetham avoided this by donning his drysuit, although he did say that after seven years unused it was a bit snug! The warning signal went at exactly 9.55 and we were off again. The beats were longer this race and the fleet was noticeably more spread out by the first mark. Kevan was again in control to take another win in a race with a lap fewer than previously. He was followed by Stuart and Tony.

For the next race Tony was just a bit too prominent on the line and had to go back. The breeze started to drop in the middle of the race with even the lighter helms not fully powered up for a few minutes before the wind returned. Kevan was again the winner and had already done enough to take the event.

Before the last race the wind started moving to the right so there was a slight delay for the start line to be relaid. In the event the wind continued to move round such that most boats laid the first mark. The race committee were able to move marks to give a decent beat for the remaining laps though. By the last lap the wind was as strong as it had been all weekend which made the reaches exciting. Kevan was once again in front with Keith and Tony following. Malcolm Worsley and Charlie Brecknell had a coming together near the windward mark which left one doing turns and the other in irons which enabled Ross Watson to get past both.

It was a tough weekend sailing at Prestwick but with some excellent sailing conditions and good race management as always. The downwind legs and surfing certainly made up for the choppy conditions on the beats. Kevan Gibb was a very well deserved winner of the HD Sails Scottish Solo Championships - 15 years after he last won the trophy. Stuart Gibson was second on countback from Keith Milroy.

Overall Results:

PosHelmClubSail NoR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1Kevan GibbLargo Bay60434111115
2Stuart GibsonCCC Bardowie594815323DNC14
3Keith MilroySt Mary's Loch SC5602332Rtd4214
4Tony KingDerwent reservoir SC5408DNC2536319
5Charlie Brecknell 497524448620
6Malcolm WorsleyRoyal Tay YC450267655527
7David Sword 54865Dnc762Rtd32
8Ross WatsonEast Lothian YC584176987432
9David ParkinAberdeen & Stonehaven YC5889888710Rtd41
10Ian FleethamSt Andrew's SC59709911109744
11Bruce BirrellLargo Bay SC561Dnc1010911Dsq52

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