Please select your home edition
CoastWaterSports 2014

Sailability Scotland's Challenger Traveller Series at Castle Semple Sailing Club

by Arthur Logan 7 Jun 2023 14:37 BST 3-4 June 2023
All competitors and volunteer helpers - Sailability Scotland's Challenger Traveller Series at Castle Semple © Joe Reilly

There were four visitors and two local Challengers for the third event in the Sailability Scotland Challenger series. Suncream, shades, hats and - for some reason - soup were the order of the weekend. We had a pleasant gathering on Friday afternoon building the boats.

Just as some drivers consult two or three satnavs before leaving home, the race officer looked at several forecasts trying to find the one with the best wind for the weekend. All of them told the same sorry tale, so we were surprised to discover a reasonable breeze when we arrived at Castle Semple SC, Lochwinnoch on Saturday morning.

It was agreed at the briefing to change the running order to try to take advantage of the breeze, so it was to be two back-to-back races before lunch, and one afterwards.

The Challenger fleet have tried hard to cultivate a reputation for being very relaxed, and we love them for it, but sometimes a few extra shots of caffeine wouldn't go amiss. Duncan Greenhalgh was well ahead in the first race, with Alex Hodge coming in Second. Local sailors Jon Hasler and Iain Hardy battled it out, with Iain getting over the line less than one second ahead of Jon.

The second race again had Duncan out front, but only by a couple of minutes this time. A large lunch was enjoyed by the sailors, the launch party and safety boat crew, all grateful for some shade, with the biggest surprise being how the soup (soup, I ask you) was devoured.

Another surprise of the afternoon was Ronnie Cameron being slightly less relaxed than suspected, and creating a gap in the start line where there wasn't a gap before he appeared. Maybe he had had his caffeine after all. A penalty turn takes quite a while in a Challenger with little wind.

The third race had Jon and Iain even closer to Duncan, with Ronnie coming in fourth. By the end of the first day, Duncan was on three points, Jon on eight points, and Iain on nine. That was close enough for Iain to cancel other plans and come back for the Sunday. Rory McKinna was also able to compete on the Sunday.

Unfortunately, the wind didn't play ball.

Sensible race officers would have abandoned the first race, but the boats were moving almost as fast as a speeding snail, and after forty-five minutes, all of the finishers were within two minutes of each other. Ronnie had his best result with a third in this, the final race, but the most exciting news of the weekend was Iain getting over the line five seconds ahead of Duncan, and two places ahead of Jon.

Ronnie was unlucky to just be one point behind Alex for the weekend. Jon was Third overall. Iain was Second and just one point ahead of Jon, so close racing throughout, except for Duncan who was the clear winner on three points.

It was a very sociable weekend for the club's volunteers. Thank you to Tunnocks and to O'Neill's Services in Paisley for the engraved glasses.

Overall Results:

1stDuncan GreenhalghBassenthwaite Sailing Club111‑23
2ndIain HardyCastle Semple Sailing Club‑33317
3rdJon HaslerCastle Semple Sailing Club‑42248
4thAlex HodgeClyde Cruising Club24‑5511
5thRonnie CameronClyde Cruising Club(DNF)54312
6thRory McKinnaClyde Cruising ClubDNEDNEDNE(DNF)21

Related Articles

English Open Challenger Championship
Another very successful event at Scaling Dam After a very successful event at Scaling Dam Sailing and Watersports Club in 2023 the Challengers returned in 2024 for the English Open Challenger Championship. Posted on 4 Jun
WISH SC Open Challenger Event
Six Challengers representing five clubs race at Wigan and St Helens SC After a very successful Challenger event WISH (Wigan and St Helens) Sailing Club in 2023 the Challengers returned for the weekend 18-19 May. Posted on 22 May
Challenger Travellers at Castle Semple
Launched on Saturday more in the hope than expectation of racing Seven Challengers raced at Castle Semple SC during the weekend 4-5 May. Chi Chian Wu was kindly loaned one of the Challengers based at Castle Semple SC and Lynn Steward of Wigan and St Helens SC borrowed a Sailability Scotland boat. Posted on 8 May
Challenger Coaching Weekend at Rutland
Led by Brett Cokayne, the RYA's National Sailability Developer The weekend 27-28 April saw the first Challenger event of the season. It was a coaching weekend led by Brett Cokayne, the RYA's National Sailability Developer. On Sunday Brett was joined by Andy Gordon of Scaling Dam. Posted on 1 May
Purple patch at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show
Clear the 'in' colour for sailors in 2024 Sailing fashion is a fickle thing, one minute yellow is all the rage, then red, then orange. In 2024 it was most definitely the colour purple. Posted on 26 Feb
Challengers in the Selden Sailjuice Winter Series
Seven took part in at least one event of the 2023-2024 series Challengers have taken part in the Sailjuice Winter Series almost since its inception and the 2023-2024 series was no exception. A total of seven Challengers took part in at least one event. Posted on 26 Feb
You try doing it one-handed!
Lynn Steward has carried on dinghy racing, despite physical challenges Lynn Steward races the only Challenger trimaran at Wigan St Helen's SC, and frequently jokes with the able-bodied competitors in the PY fleet crossing the finish line ahead of her: "You try doing it one-handed!" Posted on 18 Feb
Adapting your boat and your racing techniques
Interview with Alex Hovden about his Challenger sailing We spoke to Alex Hovden, who sails a Challenger trimaran, about how he feels this is the right class for him, and what modifications he has made to the boat, and to his technique, to be more competitive and get more enjoyment from sailing. Posted on 27 Jan
How sailors with a disability get into a dinghy
Looking at slings and hoists with Frensham Pond Sailability Wheelchair users, and those whose ability to crouch or lean is impaired, need additional equipment to get into a sailing dinghy. Some clubs have been able to invest in slings and hoists to help sailors, and this article has many photos of them. Posted on 20 Oct 2023
Ogston Handicap and Challenger Open
There was a certain amount of shenanigans The Ogston SC general handicap and Challenger open meeting is usually the final event of the year for the Challengers. This year was no exception. Posted on 2 Oct 2023