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Challenger Travellers at Solway Yacht Club

by Robert Dinwiddie 1 Jun 2022 11:28 BST 28-29 May 2022
A Close Race - Challenger Travellers at Solway © James Bishop

During the weekend of May 28th and 29th the Solway Yacht Club had one of the busiest and most rewarding series of sailing activities so far this season. The club was privileged to host "The Challenger Travellers Open Meeting".

Challenger sailing dinghies are 15 foot long single handed trimarans which are specifically designed to be sailed and raced by disabled and less mobile sailors. Five competitors, including one aged 92, took part in four races during the weekend.

The races were sailed around Rough Firth, the estuary of the river Urr as it flows out of Kippford. On each day an appropriate course was set by the Principal Race Officer, Chris Nurney. Light northwesterly winds veering to southwesterly on both days made for interesting tactical sailing by all concerned.

On day one all competitors completed the first two lap race by crossing the finishing line within two minutes of each other. First to cross was Nick Bett followed by David Driffill, Duncan Greenhalgh, Val Millward and Ronald Cameron. The second race was equally competitive on this occasion being won by Val Millward followed by David Driffill, Nick Bett, Duncan Greenhalgh and Ronald Cameron.

The first day was rounded off by an excellent buffet supper, provided by the Anchor Hotel, for all competitors, their helpers and members of the Solway Yacht Club in Kippford Village Hall.

Racing on day two took place in similar relatively light wind conditions with race three being won by David Driffill followed by Val Millward, Duncan Greenhalgh, Nick Bett and Ronald Cameron. The final race was as tightly competitive as the others and was won by Duncan Greenhalgh, closely followed by Val Millward, Nick Bett, David Driffill and Ronald Cameron.

After all results were taken into account prize-giving, organized by the club Commodore Scott Train, took place on the lawn of the Yacht Club pier. Overall joint winners of the weekend's racing were Val Millward and David Driffill. In third place was Duncan Greenhalgh, fourth was Nick Bett and fifth Ronald Cameron.

Club racing

Simultaneously with the Challenger racing programme the Solway Yacht Club Spring "Saturday" series and the Spring "Sunday" series regular competitions continued. Six dinghies took part in two races each on Saturday and Sunday with the first three boats crossing the finishing line within a few minutes of each other on each occasion.

The current leaders of the Saturday series are Finlay Train (Laser Radial) first, Pete Hammond and Ian Murgatroyd/John Sproat (Flying Fifteen) second and Stephen Gaughan and Richard Colbeck/Rhiannon Leyshon (Osprey) third. The present leaders of the Sunday series are Scott Train and Anne Stewart (Flying Fifteen), with Stephen Gaughan and Richard Colbeck (Osprey) in second place and Colin Filer with Jamie Gascoine (Flying Fifteen) in third.

On Saturday evening, May 28th, before the buffet supper, a number of 2021 Club Racing Prizes were presented to the winners by Commodore Scott Train. These included the Tordoff Cup 2021 Club Championship trophy to Stewart Mitchell (Finn), the OK Palnackie Mug to the winners of the Palnackie Pursuit Race to Richard Colbeck and Alan Crichton (Buzz). Stewart Mitchell (Finn) was awarded first prizes for the Opener, Summer, Autumn and the Final Fling competitions. Scott Train and Anne Stewart (Flying Fifteen) won the End Summer Series prize.

Other prizes from last season awarded were the Sailing By Vase (in memory of Kevin Paul) to John Healey for an outstanding contribution by a non-committee member, the Sally Hampton Trophy to Nicola McColm for the most outstanding contribution by a Cadet member and the Boat Handling Trophy to Toby Iglehart for the best boat handling by a Cadet member.

As can be seen this was an extremely busy but highly rewarding weekend for all concerned and further events such as these in the weeks to come are eagerly awaited.

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