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Solway Yacht Club's Easter Eggstravaganza

by Ian Purkis 1 Apr 18:01 BST 29-31 March 2024

All over the Easter weekend, the Solway Yacht Club launched its 2024 sailing season. With both on shore challenges and competitive racing on the water, in weather that varied from low temperatures and strong winds to warm spring sunshine, Easter 2024 had just about everything.

Cadets Fun Day

First off on Good Friday, the cadets started the season by taking part in the brand-new local RNLI 200 Walking Quiz throughout Kippford. In the very mixed weather conditions the Cadets stayed positive, racing against one another. This was the trial run of our lifeboat's quiz which will be available for everyone from the Lifeboat Shop. The cadets' completed answer sheets have been handed in to the RNLI for marking, with the winners to be declared later. The quiz is one of three compiled by the local RNLI, comprising of short, medium, or long courses around and in the hills above the village. After the cadets did the short course, it was Easter Eggs all round and good wishes for those taking part in racing over the following two days.

Competitive sailing 2024 launched

Saturday dawned foul with strong bitter-cold wind and the promise of better weather later. The Easter series of five races was under the expert eye of Race Officer John Broadbent who set challenging triangular courses in the bay. A couple of crews never launched given the conditions while two others had a capsize or broken gear before even reaching the start.

A clean start to race one by those that did make the line, didn't last long. Only a few seconds into the race and close in-shore, toe-strap failure on the RS Vision of James Bishop and Noa Crowley pitched James backwards in the cold salty stuff followed by the inevitable capsize. Taking avoiding action, Scott McColm in his Finn narrowly avoided both a collision with the capsized Vision's mast and the very close-by rocks. However, Stewart Mitchell in another Finn and the welcome return of Alec Glendinning in his Laser Vortex led the fleet before another gear failure, this time to the Vortex, forced his retirement and a pit stop back at the pier. Not too far back the Cadets Finn Harris and Toby Iglehart were having the first of several closely matched races in their ILCA4 (Laser 4.7s). This was Iglehart's very first sail in the 4.7 having moved up a class from his previous Topper.

Race two and a depleted fleet again had 2023 Club Champion Mitchell continuing from where he left off, disappearing into the distance. By Race three the sun was now shining and the wind dropping, and both Glendinning and the Bishop/Crowley crew had returned, the latter switching to a GP14 for the rest of this series. Really enjoying his first ILCA4 sailing, Iglehart now got the better of his fellow Cadet Harris to take second in the race.

Day two of the series and Easter Sunday welcomed wall to wall Spring sunshine but still with a now gusty Easterly blowing straight down from over the nearby hills. The non-starters and retirements from day one joined the fleet together with several additions making for a crowded start line. Again, the Mitchell Finn and Glendinning Vortex led the fleet with a big gap between the leaders and a gutsy Lucy Leyshon sailing hard in her Topper to a strong fourth overall never far from the rest. Iglehart now really going well, again got the better of Harris in the ILCA4 while Keith Veasey was 6th in the second Finn beating McColm in another Finn into 8th, the two split by James Colbeck in another ILCA4. A better result for Bishop/Crowley GP14 was spoiled by the jib sheet coming loose, handing 9th place to the Firefly of Ian Purkis and Ida Iglehart.

Race five and for once Mitchell was one of two boats over the line at the start so were recalled, starting late but soon off giving chase but Mitchell was still OCS, spoiling what could have been a clean sweep of five out of five wins. Nevertheless, it was congratulations all round but "Sail of the Eggstravaganza" had to go to Toby Iglehart finishing second overall.

The Club's annual Open Day is now not far off on Saturday 11th May when the Club looks forward to welcoming the local community to sample the delights of all types of boating in our beautiful surroundings.

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