Opening regatta

The forecast for the Opening Regatta on Sunday 23rd was not good, with suggestions of a strong Northerly, with gusts of force 5 increasing to force 6 in the afternoon. The wind on the inch was indeed Northerly, though on the loch itself the steadiest direction was Easterly. A course of C, E, X, A was initially set by the race officer, but after boats were on the water, and conditions observed, the course was reversed to X, E, C, A. This proved to be the correct move.

An excellent 11 boats were on the water. 5 laser radials, 4 fireflies (3 from Aberdeen University), a solo, and a Wanderer. This made the starts exciting, with much jockeying for position and cries of ‘starboard!’ as everyone tried to get the best start.

For the first race that person was Helen Brown (laser radial) followed by David Smith (firefly) and Malcolm Heron (laser radial) who rounded the first mark in that order.  The first unplanned swim, by Jamie Brown (laser radial), happened before the first mark, but he quickly recovered and didn’t trouble the rescue boat (ably manned by Sebastian Kimber). The extremely variable breeze, both in direction and strength, caused much pain to the sailors, eventually being the undoing of David in his firefly. He capsized after rounding E mark and his mast stuck in the mud in the shallow water, resulting in his retiral from the race.  The remainder of the fleet had a very close fought race, with only 20 seconds, on corrected time, between the first 5 boats.
1st Helen
2nd Malcolm
3rd Tony Walker and Bill Myles (Wanderer)
4th Jill Reid (firefly AUSC)
5th Becci Oosterhoorn (laser radial)

The wind abated slightly for the second race so was initially less exciting at first. The fleet was joined by Connor Hyndland and his daughter Charlotte, who quickly rigged a club Feva, just in time for the start.  Mark Kimber (laser radial) was first round the first mark, followed by the Wanderer, then Helen. The down wind section to E saw several casualties, all of whom recovered without assistance. At C mark, Helen took the lead, which she later lost to Malcolm. It was another very close race, with 5 seconds, on corrected time, between the first 5 boats.
1st Malcolm
2nd Stuart Dallas (firefly AUSC)
3rd Jamie
4th Mark

As the first two races were very hard work, the third race was shorter – 2 laps of the course instead of 3. Helen made an excellent start, less than a minute after capsizing behind the line. There were more capsizes (mostly ‘dry’) as tired sailors found the conditions demanding for tired bodies, and everyone was very glad to come ashore at the end of the race.
1st Helen
2nd Malcolm
3rd Mark
4th Jamie

End result overall:
1st, and winner of the Inch Cup Helen Brown (laser radial)
2nd Malcolm Heron (Laser Radial)
3= Mark Kimber and Jamie Brown (laser radial)