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Harken One Design Regatta 2024 at Largs Sailing Club

by Martin Latimer 21 May 16:56 BST 18-19 May 2024
Harken One Design Regatta at Largs © Glenn Andrews

A 50 boat entry from Aberdeen to Southampton across the D-Zero, ILCA, RS200, RS400 and Aero classes turned out for the Harken sponsored One Design Regatta at Largs Sailing Club on the Clyde.

The event has proved so popular that it has been split into an event in in May for single-handers and the RS classes, followed by a new event in September for Skiffs and Catamarans. Its great to see demand so high, in an era of depleted entries. By far the biggest entry was from the D-Zeros who had 18 entrants and 17 boats sailing for the whole weekend, cumulating in the awarding of the Scottish Champions title.

The Largs Riviera turned on the weather with bright sunshine and temperatures into the early twenties (centigrade, not fahrenheit!) all weekend. On the Saturday after some big shifts, the wind settled down to give some racing, allowing one good race (Nice one RO - Anne Roy and ARO - Rob Brown). The fleets all had some good tussles on a good set of windward leeward courses. Flat water, shifty patches and a bit of tide made it one for the light wind fliers.

The second day dawned very bright & sunny and everyone amassed on shore praying to the wind gods. Whilst it was hot and windless spirits were high as the local Largs SC wind gurus explained how the land effect was guaranteed (?) to bring either a southerly or a northerly wind and that we would get sailing (and the visitors believed them, gullible fools!).

After a good bit of onshore banter, numerous coffees and huge amounts of weather affirmation (boy, those Largs guys can lay it on!) the race team announced that they were sure the wind would build and that racers should prepare to launch....

Inaction turned to action in minutes and all was go, go, go! Sure enough an hour later the whole fleet was launched, the keen ones were sailing the first beat and the five-minute signal was flown.

First fleet away was the D-Zeros and boy they were keen, plenty of pre-start argy-bargy and they were off, with both Alistair McLauglin and first-time Dzeorist, 16yr old, Roo Purves were showing the way up the beat...

The Stork was flying, but Roo was boxing hard (as would be seen in a later race at the gybe mark) They finished 1 & 2 after some hard racing and were kept honest by National Champ, the Prof, Ian Baillie in 3rd. On the third race, all the fleet tried to prove they were really keen to go racing, too keen in fact, as they were given a general recall...

Into the corner for the bad boys and girls to wait for another start! Race three went to Roo, with Stork in second and Ton Southwell in third, proving that some of the south coast sailors have learned the fine art of D-Zeroing quite well!

Race four was really hotly contested with only one point separating the first boats and a Scottish title on offer. Roo and Stork battled it out while the Prof fended off a battling Grumpy Latimer, who was suffering a more than average regatta and was out to prove a point. Stork flew in the front of the fleet and held off a very fast Roo Purves, the Prof taught Grumpy and a lesson and took 3rd. Alistair McLaughlin was fast enough and canny enough to take his second Scottish Championship.

All the fleets, including 12 RS200s and 12 ILCAS, will no doubt submit their own class reports as this author was too busy learning to race to watch the other's fleet racing1. At the prize-giving Harken prizes were awarded including £50.00 vouchers to the winners; thanks Harken for continuing to generously support the racing at Largs SC.

The racing was well run by RO Anne Roy from the committee boat supplied by ARO Rob Brown and the race team did a great job of laying excellent courses in very difficult conditions. On shore the launching and logistics were run to a really high and friendly level by a great team from LSC, including a young, very able, and vociferous, apprentice beach master Aiden Alderson!

The competitors all enjoyed a great event, superb social and great racing and no doubt will be back in even bigger numbers next year.

Final results:

Class Winners in D-Zero:

1st Alistair McLaughlin (LSC)
2nd Roo Purves (ELYC)
3rd Liz Potter (WKSC)

Class Winners in ILCA 6:

1st Thomas Bates (YDSC)
2nd Ruari Herrington (LSC)
3rd Cameron McDaid (LSC)

Class Winners in ILCA 7:

1st Finlay Tulet (DBSC)
2nd Ian Fitzgerald (DBSC)
3rd Pete Malcolm (LBSC)

Class Winners in RS200:

1st B Lynch/ E Clark (ELYC)
2nd R Burns & V Simpson (LSC)
3rd A&J Gifford (RTYC)

Class Winners in RS400:

1st A & I Marshall (DBSC)
2nd The Rivet Bros Race Team (LSC)
3rd D&Z Linton (LSC)

Class Winners in RS Aero:

1st Hugh Russell (LSC)
2nd John Wilcox (ELYC)

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