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Finn Traveller and Scottish Championship at Largs Sailing Club

by Stewart Mitchell 1 Sep 2022 20:24 BST 27-28 August 2022
Largs Channel with Cumbrae and Arran in the background © Marc Turner /

Eight Finns entered the Scottish Traveller Series event hosted by Largs Sailing Club on the Clyde Estuary. The championship was held within the larger Largs Regatta Festival, which hosted several cruiser and dinghy classes, including cats, fast and slow handicaps.

Saturday dawned windless and warm and the RO had no option but to AP the start. Several coffees later taken in the warm, sunny, still morning, a gentle south-westerly breeze slowly began to build. AP was lowered and the Largs sailing regatta began. The Finn class raced within the slow handicap fleet which gave close boat on-boat racing, challenging starts and mark roundings.

In the light breeze, north running tide and shifts it proved to be challenging tactical racing. With the light winds, a short windward-leeward course was set for two races and a triangular one for the third, which gave some "interesting" tactical racing in the mixed fleet. Russell Ward and David Kitchen exchanged leads in the first race, with David taking line honours, then it was David again taking a win in the second and in the third race Roddy Steel.

Four races were planned but racing was completed after three, due to the late start and the fading breeze.

Despite the light airs the racing was very close and pleasant in a very warm and sunny Firth of Clyde. Unfortunately, David's good on the water performance was relegated due to misinterpretation of going through the line which was a real shame but David accepted it graciously, Russ also picked up an OCS in the first race which handed Stewart his first ever Finn race win.

Boats were packed away for the night and the Finnsters retired to the Largs sailing club balcony to recall the racing and past memories whilst downing several pints of the delicious local draught ale. The organisers had laid on an excellent fish and chip van, and a local hand-made pizza stall, whilst in the marquee a live band fired up. The sailing club terrace sunset view over to Cumbrae, Arran and Bute was the ideal spot for food and ale, and an evening of stories.

New to the Finn class sailor Keith Veasey was warmly welcomed. Sailors retired tired but happy after an enjoyable day.

Day 2 the famous round Cumbrae single race day was scheduled but absolutely no wind welcomed the sailors. AP was hoisted for 2.5hrs with much gazing at the water waiting for the wind, just as N over A was being attached to the clubhouse flagpole in prep for a 1pm announcement, a light pressure filled in from the NW and "prepare to race" message was sent to the WhatsApp message group just as sailors were starting to pack up.

Sails were hurriedly pulled back onto booms and the fleet launched for the alternative course in Largs channel around navigation buoys. With slightly more pressure than Saturday the Finns were further up the mixed fleet and had a good dice around the cans which took them close into Cumbrae island and some challenging shifty puffs of wind. Roddy took an early lead with Russ, David and Stewart in hot pursuit.

Roddy Steel was a worthy winner of the weekend with Russ in close second and Stewart taking third overall. After an initial large interest in the event, due to the light forecast it was a modest Finn fleet for this traveller event, where everyone thoroughly enjoyed the close racing, the stunning scenery, hospitality and warm weather - albeit the wind gods were sleeping.

Many thanks to Largs Sailing Club and Largs Yacht Haven as hosts, and sponsors Saturn Sails and Coastworks.

See also: Photo Gallery by PFM Pictures

Slow Handicap Fleet Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewClubPYR1R2R3R5Pts
1stRS 2001632Robbie BURNSLuke BURNSLargs SC1046‑11113
2ndGP1414206Alan JONESSue WATSONBassenthwaite SC1130222(RET)6
3rdFINNGBR 710Roddy STEEL Keyhaven YC1049‑1444210
4thGP1413300Doug PATONJaney PATONHelensburgh SC1130‑1133511
5thFINNGBR4Russ WARD Hayling Island SC1049(OCS)7.56417.5
6thALBACORE6703Crawford REIDNada SHEHABStrathclyde Loch SC1040‑1555818
7thILCA 6208887Cameron MCDAID Largs SC11473611‑1320
8thRS 200951Rebecca SMITHDaniel SMITHLargs SC1046‑127.510320.5
9thFINNGBR77Stewart MITCHELL Solway YC10495‑1212724
10thGP1414056Arthur LOGANPeter COLLINGSCastle Semple SC1130‑997925
11thILCA 7180764Gavin MCGILL Largs SC11007109‑1126
12thFINNGBR 111John DELEEUW Loch Venachar SC104913118(DNC)32
13thRS 200930Martin FAULKNERBill FORSYTHLargs SC104610‑15131033
14thILCA 6215531Ruairi HERRINGTON Largs SC114741618(DNC)38
15thILCA 6175732Finley BRIGGS Largs SC114781317(DNC)38
16thILCA 6205652Ellise FITZGERALD Prestwick SC1147‑2214141442
17thENTERPRISE16356Andrew MACDONALDLouise DAVIDSONCastle Semple SC112216‑20161648
18thFINNGBR51David KITCHEN Port Edgar YC104921‑2323650
19thGP1412954Stephen HARRISONDavid McFadyenLargs SC11301817‑201550
20thFINN750Keith VEASEY Solway YC1049171815(DNC)50
21stGP14GP13872Paul O'NEILLTom KELLYCastle Semple SC113019‑21211252
22ndRS TERA PRO2109James REEKIE Bassenthwaite SC13596(RET)DNCRET58
23rdILCA 6166332Lachan Davis Largs SC1147(NSC)1919DNC64
24thILCA 7159179Fraser LAWRIE Largs SC1100202222(DNC)64
25thTOPPER45737Orlagh MACDONALD Castle Semple SC1365(RET)DNCDNCDNC78

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