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Osprey Scottish & Northern Tour Event 2 at Lochaber Yacht Club

by Osprey Class 11 May 19:44 BST 2-3 May 2023
Osprey Scottish & Northern Tour at Lochaber with Ben Nevis in the background © Vince Dean

Bamboozled by back to backs!

Open meetings were coming thick and fast on the Osprey 70th Anniversary Tour of Scotland and the North, and after a hard sail at Kielder on May 1st, it was time to pack up and start the 5 hour drive to Fort William, Britain's Outdoor Capital, and home of our grandest mountain, Ben Nevis.

The fleet set off for Scotland. At the border, a Piper serenaded all tourists entering the country, in the cold and cloudy conditions, and further North, the Kelpies were visible at Falkirk.

The journey continued North to the Highlands, with blue sky revealing itself. Glencoe glowed in the setting sun, with red deer spotted by the side of the road, and spectacular views down the valley. All boats arrived at Lochaber YC before the sun set fully, showcasing an incredible display of some of the spectacular scenery Scotland has to offer.

The first day, Tuesday 2nd May, started with a beautiful view looking out over Loch Linnhe. The clouds were touching the top of the hills on the other side of the loch, and the wind was light, but 9 Ospreys were ready for the 11am start time.

Race 1 was in very light winds. Ros and David Downs (Tata SC) led at the windward mark in a very light NE, but Alan Henderson/ Alastair Barrie (Prestwick SC) slid past down the tide to finish after less than one lap. By towing or walking back up the shoreline, all crews returned for a delicious lunch provided by Lochaber galley team.

The spirits of frustrated Osprey sailors rose when the RO confidently pronounced that despite no visible wind (or any forecast of same), in his experience the wind would fill in that afternoon from the SW - which it did! This wind allowed an afternoon of (almost) champagne sailing. The RO expected no wind the following day, so wisely laid on extra races in the first day. 4 races were sailed that afternoon, making the individual races a bit of a blur (and not just due to the drink in the evening!). One thing is for sure, there was no hanging around in between the races! Generally, less than a minute passed between the last boat finishing and the first gun going for the next race.

A triangular course was used in the afternoon, with incredible photos of all Ospreys and Ben Nevis achieved on the second reach back towards the town. A mixed bag of results led to a very fun afternoon's racing. At the front, the first three boats finished within 10 seconds on more than one occasion! Alan Henderson and Alastair Barrie took two wins, while three different teams took wins in the other three. Lochaber's Viola and Mike Scott, the inventors of this Tour, were rewarded with a win in the third race, while Royal Tay's Stewart Murdoch and Sandy Bremner took the fourth, and Alec Mamwell and Arthur Butler from Coniston the fifth race.

Exhausted and bamboozled from the quickfire back to back races, all crews relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful views over the loch.

Lochaber's own Mystic Meg, RO Hamish Loudon, proved correct again the following day, and duly canned proceedings.

The next day, designated as a travel day, saw an early start by a sub group tackling Ben Nevis, but sadly they were blown back half way up the mountain, and had to beat a retreat.

It was time for "Lochaber No More" as the 70th anniversary Scottish & Northern Tour reformed its convoy to depart for Royal Tay for the final regatta.

The Lochaber open went to Alan & Alastair (1367), from Stewart & Sandy (1366) and Rob Shaw & Ian Little (1349). In the overall Tour standings after two events, Alan & Alastair led from Rob and Ian.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st1367Silver MachineAlan HendersonAlistair BarriePrestwick SC11‑7327
2nd1366BurachStewart MurdochSandy BremnerRoyal Tay YC4‑851313
3rd1349Bird of Prey IVRobert ShawIan LittleKielder Water SC‑8342413
4th1363Robbers AlleyRob BurdekinAlistair RaynardBlithfield SC‑5225514
5th1291WaimanuAlex Willis FNick WillisHayling Island SC3536‑917
6th1350WARNING...Contains NutsAlec MamwellArthur ButlerConiston SC‑7764118
7th1314Think AgainViola Scott FMichael ScottLochaber YC6417‑818
8th1114Just PogoRos Downs FDavid DownsTata Steel SC26‑98622
9th1292Light & BitterPaul HeatherJonathan OsgoodTeignmouth Corinthian SC‑9989733

Scottish & Northern Tour after 2 Events:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewKielder R1Kielder R2Lochaber R1Lochaber R2Lochaber R3Lochaber R4Lochaber R5Pts
1st1367Silver MachineAlan HendersonAlistair Barrie4‑611‑73211
2nd1363Robbers AlleyRob BurdekinAlistair Raynard‑81‑5225515
3rd1366BurachStewart MurdochSandy Bremner‑724‑851315
4th1314Think AgainViola Scott FMichael Scott15641‑7‑817
5th1350WARNING...Contains NutsAlec MamwellArthur Butler33‑7‑764117
6th1349Bird of Prey IVRobert ShawIan Little‑54‑8342417
7th1291WaimanuAlex Willis FNick Willis2‑73536‑919
8th1114Just PogoRos Downs FDavid Downs‑9‑92698631
9th1292Light & BitterPaul HeatherJonathan Osgood68‑9‑989738

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