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D-Zero Scottish Championships at the Sailingfast Dalgety Bay Sailing Club Regatta

by Ian Baillie 10 Oct 2023 22:05 BST 7-8 October 2023
D-Zero Scottish Championships at the Sailingfast Dalgety Bay SC Regatta - race 2 © Chris Morgan

Storky flies in to reign in the rain

The D-Zero Scottish Championships were held at the Sailingfast sponsored Dalgety Bay Sailing Club regatta over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of October, with 15 competitors arriving from as far as Southampton, West Kirby and Manchester. This was also the weekend that saw parts of Scotland ending up with almost a month's worth of rain, with some participants almost needing boats to get to Dalgety Bay.

As competitors continued to arrive on the Saturday, through the pouring rain, there was a brisk 20 knots coming in from the east, building up a rather lumpy wind against tide sea. However, it was the lack of visibility that caused the postponement of the start, but 2 hours later the rain had slackened to merely chucking it down, giving enough visibility to go.

However, as the fleets started to launch, the wind decided to increase up to a fruity 25 knots then a nice steady 30 knots. This caused the rescue fleet to become very busy attending to various capsized boats in the other fleets attending the regatta, which eventually caused the abandonment of the sailing for the day.

Before that happened, the sailing was spectacular, with big lumpy wind against tide waves and chop, giving screaming downwinds, scary gybing practice and a few swims.

Once ashore the fleet was buzzing following such a great sail; the RIB crews were broken though.

Sunday dawned, apparently, it was too dark to see and the rain was still hammering down. But the wind had decreased to around 15 knots, so we made an early 10am start as the wind and rain were due to drop throughout the morning.

The first start was very keenly contested, with 15 boats on a slightly short line. The Gavins, Homer and Fleming were over early and had to restart but the fleet was off up a rather lumpy beat. First to the windward mark was Scott Munro, with Jon Bassett next followed by the bulk of the fleet in a big bunch.

Down the waves on the reach, Alastair McLaughlin (aka Storky) went low to gain third, with Ian Baillie going high to move into fourth.

The wind was beginning to drop and shift, which made the remainder of the race a bit processional, with the first four retaining their places and Jamie Hilton, having a skiff holiday in fifth.

After a short delay to reset the course as the wind faded and shifted south, race 2 started with a similarly competitive line. There was a split in the fleet with some opting to head for the shore and some into the channel for better tide. But there was more wind closer to the shore, with Gavin Homer taking advantage to lead from Jamie Hilton at the windward mark.

A mistimed tack saw Jamie doing turns, which let in Storky, Allan Stuart and Jon Bassett. The breeze was slowly fading away, perfect Storky conditions, which he made full use of to win from Jon taking second ahead of Allan. Liz Potter in Zippy Zero sailed quickly on the last lap to take fourth from Ian Baillie, who just managed to get past Gavin Homer at the last mark.

The wind then disappeared and showed no sign of returning. So, after watching the Flying Scotsman chuffing over the Forth Bridge, racing was abandoned for the day.

This meant that Alastair McLaughlin was Scottish Champion once again, Jon Bassett, UK Inland Champion was second, Ian Baillie, UK National Champion was third, Allan Stuart fourth and Scott Munro fifth.

Thank you to Dalgety Bay Sailing Club for putting on a very challenging regatta and to Sailingfast for their generous sponsorship.

Overall Results:

PosBoatSail NoHelmR1R2Pts
1st 22Alistair McLaughlin314
2ndZeroTalent306Jon Bassett224
3rdMarvin336Ian Baillie459
4thKaizen181Allan Stuart8311
5th 353Scott Munro11213
6th 106Gavin Homer7613
7th GBR 57Martin Latimer6713
8thSlippery Little Sucker14Jamie Hilton51015
9thZippy Zero333Liz Potter12416
10thDizzee RascalGBR66David Valentine10818
11th 265Billy Mccarlie11920
12th 183Gavin Fleming91322
13th 156Tom Aitchison131124
14th GBR344Mick Green14DNC30
15th 148Richard HaydockDNCDNC32

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