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International Moth Lowriders Scottish National Championship at Largo Bay Sailing Club

by John Edwards 10 Jul 06:36 BST 22-23 June 2024

The Magnificent Seven battle for honour

Periodically, a gang of dinghy bandits raids the Fife village of Lower Largo at the time of the annual Largo Bay SC Dinghy Regatta. This year, the LBSC members extended an invitation to the International Moth Lowriders to defend the honour of the village, noting that "Lowriders are cheaper than SMODs".

The veteran Weegie Gunslinger Paul (Chris Adams) pulled together the Magnificent Seven. There's the drifter Martin (Vin Tanner), a gunfighter gone broke from way down south; George (Chico), the young hot-blooded aspiring shootist; Sam (Bernado O'Reilly), the professional slinger who's fallen on hard times and in need of money; Uncle Nige (Lee), the traumatized veteran plagued by memories of fallen lowriders from the distant past; Katie (Harry Luck), the Fortune Seeker. Finally, there's John (Britt), the knife expert who joins purely for the challenge involved.

Arriving at the village late on Friday, the boats drawn along the beach and high tide, before most retired to the gang HQ for carb loading in advance of the expected battles over the weekend. George and John, however, were dispatched the village on reconnaissance, having a fine meal at the Crusoe Hotel and noting the crowds in the well stocked "Railroad" Inn.

Saturday dawned with a stiff breeze up to the high teens from the southwest, providing challenging lowriding for the gang. The villagers put up good courses to ride to the south east of the houses, using the generous space afforded by the outer Firth of Forth. The Lowriders were dispatched first. Unfortunately John (only there for the challenge) had a slight rig issue which kept him ashore, missing the first start, whilst George too returned ashore with a wing bolt loosened.

Paul shot off in front as the first gunfight broke out, pursued by Martin, Nigel and Katie. For an hour, these four traded fire as they wove through various marauding bands of Enterprises, GP14s, ILCAs and RS400s. All the time, Sam was safely covering the rear of the Lowrider fleet, with the villagers reassured by his solid performances in something nearly resembling a proper boat. In the second fight, George and John joined the fracas as the wind and waves continued to grow.

At the front of the fleet, the three stalwarts exchanged blows as they bounced over and through the waves upwind and down, whereas the other four engaged in swimming battles. Sam and George leapt repeatedly over the wings but completed each fight, whereas John and Katie took up safe covering positions ashore, lying in wait for the other five to return at the end of the day. The Tigers, Axemans and Warlock gave a magnificent display in the third fight, impressing the villagers with their skills.

The villagers fed the gang admirably with a barbecue on the beachfront in the evening sunshine, before the Seven went in search of further refreshment at the "Railroad" Inn.

The Sunday forecast provided uncertainties, with the expectation of very light conditions, so the sparkling Saturn Sails were set. To the pleasant surprise of the Seven, the fourth fight commenced in an appropriate 7 knots. Predictably, Katie moved to the vanguard position, with the rest of the narrow boats following behind, in covering positions around the track. Paul slipped ahead, for another win. In breeze building to an unexpected 12 knots, the narrow boats completed the allotted three races in close formation, with the places as predicted. Sam held the honour with three magnificent 7th places, again impressing the villagers with his skills in his 50 year old craft.

Thankfully, although the Magnificent Seven themselves were broken after the intense battles of Saturday, they survived better than the cinematic legends. The only casualty from the six, hour long fights was one lost wingbar U bolt nut. We holstered our weapons, bade the village elders farewell and drove off into the haze of a midsummer sunset.

The next gathering will be International Moth Lowrider UK National Championships at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy from July 26th to 28th, where the Magnificent Seven will be bolstered by a good number of other recruits.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st3029Paul HignettLLSC‑1111115
2ndGBR4043Martin HarrisonGunard222‑32210
3rdGBR4026Nigel WilliamsBartly Green333‑43315
4th4014Katie HughesLLSC4(RET)DNC24422
5th3017George EdwardsAbersoch SC(DNC)5465525
6th3634Sam BarkerNantwich545‑77728
7th4040John EdwardsAbersoch(DNC)RETDNC56633

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