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Sailability Scotland Challenger Traveller Series at Castle Semple Sailing Club

by Alice Patterson & Duncan Greenhalgh 8 May 06:34 BST 4-5 May 2024
Sailability Scotland Travellers at Castle Semple © Alice Patterson

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.

On Saturday the Challengers were launched more in the hope than expectation of racing. Race 1 got (slowly) under way. It was supposed to be a two lap race but was shortened during the second lap, by which time Rory McKinna and Stephen Laycock had already retired. The race was be won on the start line, when Duncan Greenhalgh got away in clear air and extended to the finish. He was followed by Jon Hasler. In the Silver fleet Dorothy Bennett got the better of Lynn.

The fleet came in for lunch and racing was abandoned for the day. Special mention must be made of lunch. On both days it was lavish and freely available. There was soup, pasta bake, bacon sarnies, sandwiches, salad, cakes, and all homemade! No wonder racing was abandoned.

Sunday was a great day for sailing and although the sun wasn't out there was plenty of fun on the water. A triangular course was set for Race 2. The wind built during the starting sequence allowing the Challengers to make a fast start. Shortly after the start there was a big wind shift to the right disadvantaging those sailors who started lower down the line. Duncan took the win and Rory recovered from his DNF on Saturday to take second. Stephen was first in the Silver fleet followed by Dorothy. All the racing was very tight In Race 3 Duncan (starboard) and Jon (port) arrived at the first windward mark together. Jon ducked behind Duncan and in doing so took his wind and was able to overtake. Jon successfully defended first place until the next beat when Duncan took the lead. Unfortunately, the wind began to fade and the decision was made to shorten course. So Duncan took another win and Chi Chian managed to pass Jon to take second. Lynn led the Silver fleet with Stephen second.

Although Duncan had the event sown up before Race 4, second to fourth places were open, particularly if Duncan could be knocked off his perch. In the Silver fleet, Dorothy and Lynn went into the last race on equal points and Stephen was not out of the reckoning.

However, before race 4 got under way Dorothy and Stephen got entangled, in the way that only Challenger do, and began to drift to the shore. They managed to separate themselves but the safety boat was needed to recover Dorothy from the shore.

Duncan went for consistency and took the final win, in part achieved by luffing Jon into a wind shadow on the second leg. This manoeuvre allowed Chi Chian to take second, relegating Jon to third with Rory fourth. These were also the positions overall. Lynn sneaked home fifth (on a photo finish) to take first in Silver. Although Stephen beat Dorothy in the last race, Dorothy was second in Silver separated from Stephen on countback.

The sailors came ashore for another generous lunch and prize-giving. Several keen volunteers from the club helped get the five visiting Challengers back on their road trailers allowing for a swift departure. This help was greatly appreciated. All in all a fantastic weekend.

Thank you to the race officer, Arthur Logan, safety crews Iain and John (Saturday) and Alice and Paul (Sunday), and especially to those in the galley for keeping us so well fed all weekend. Thanks also to Tunnocks and to O'Neill's Services of Paisley for the engraved glasses.

Overall Results:

PosHelmSail NoFleetClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1stDuncan Greenhalgh280GoldBassenthwaite Sailing Club‑11113
2ndChi Chian Wu252GoldChinese Taipei‑33227
3rdJon Hasler253GoldCastle Semple Sailing Club2‑7338
4thRory McKinna241GoldClyde Cruising Club(DNF)24410
5thLynn Steward237SilverWigan and St Helens Sailing Club5‑65515
6thDorothy Bennett233SilverClyde Cruising Club45‑7716
7thStephen Laycock3SilverSailability Scotland(DNF)46616

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