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20/04/2002
First Fling Loch Earn

  • Crewsaver EOS Champs
  • 2012 RS EOS Champs
  • Llandegfedd Open 2013
  • RS 10th Anniversary Ball
  • RS200 Eurocup, YC Carnac, May 2018
  • RS200 Eurocup, YC Carnac, May 2018
RS200s First Fling at Loch Earn The weekend forecast of strong southerlies for Saturday and Sunday 20/21 April didn't materialise for the RS 200 fleet in their first travellers event for 2002 . But then this was loch sailing and as Loch Earn lies East /West none of the above applied . Looking wistfully at the low cloud scudding north over the surrounding hilltops the RS200 fleet prayed to the wind god for at least a steady if not light easterly but to no avail , in the end either he or she wasn't listening or else had gone to lunch . Loch Earn Sailing Club had entrusted Tom Taylor as Race Officer for this years annual First Fling regatta . Tom consulted with the local almanacs and worthies and bravely sent the 11 boat fleet eastwards towards picturesque St Fillans . This seemed to work and slowly the fleet worked its way towards the windward mark cursing every time the fickle breezes swung 90 degrees or more or even disappeared completely . Eventually after rounding the mark a downwind leg developed and clearly the race had its leading group or so they thought as the bulk of the fleet headed for the south shore and drifted in and out of patches of calm then ruffled water . Some of the desperados at he rear tried their own version of a flyer down the middle and certainly made some gains but it didn't last . Finally newcomers Euan Dunn and crew Angela Murphy in 723 crossed the finishing line for their first win in an RS 200 closely followed by regular Katie Masterson and crew Fiona Foulkes and old stalwarts Gavin and son Nicholas Marshall a creditable 3rd . One of the benefits of being at the rear of a fleet means that any interesting events that develop can sometimes be clearly seen . In this case a gybing contest which developed between Katie and Fi in 544 and another new girl to the fleet Kirsty McSeveney sailing with her sister Sandy in 689 . Consisting of a series of perfectly timed and executed gybes , the two boats vied for the advantage which would eventually carry Katie ahead . One wondered if this had all been choreographed and perhaps whether synchronised sailing would soon become a new sport . However there wasn't a hint of lipstick or even a fixed smile to be seen on either of these boats . The only fixed look was of pure concentration as each crew determinedly tried to out manoeuvre the other . This was match racing at its best . Race 2 got off to a strange start that allowed Douglas & Kirsty Hamilton out off the starting blocks at least a minute ahead while the rest of the fleet still wondering what day it was . But as always in these conditions gains very painfully become loses as the light wind experts soon clawed their way to the front and Douglas & Kirsty watched 6 boats turn the windward mark ahead of them . All was not lost though as those in the leading pack foundered for a good 10mins in dead calm over by the southern shore . Again Katie/Fi followed by Euan/ Angela and by now Douglas/ Kirsty had sniffed a good breeze in the middle of the loch and powered towards the leeward mark in a tight reach . By the time they had turned at this mark the remainder of the fleet were out of site as these three boats fetched unhampered towards the finish line . This should have been the finishing order except Euan / Angela capsized 200 yds from the line to gift 2nd place to a very grateful Douglas /Kirsty . Sunday morning was that type of wet drizzle and mist that even the St Fillans ducks stayed indoors . However the wind patterns seemed more promising and Tom Taylor got the fleet off on time . The usual suspects were out in front early on this time making sure they were paying attention to the visual signals at the start for the 3rd race and the fleet split to the North and South shores looking for the best breeze . Again various calm patches caught out the unwary down wind but soon the breeze began to settle more sou'westerly which allowed a good spinnaker run home . This time students Alison and Nichola Davies in 232 taking a breather from studies at Glasgow Uni crossed first closely followed by Euan/Angela and in 3rd this time Graeme Henry and Shona Redpath in 661 . Race 4 after lunch saw 10 boats launched and were soon to find this would provide the best wind of the weekend . It didn't start off that way though with the usual drift to the Eastend windward mark then the leaders turning down wind hoisted spinnakers desperately trying to catch the zephyrs . Half way to the leeward mark, opposite the clubhouse they suddenly found themselves with a 180 shift that caused many a capsize as spinnakers filled in reverse . This was the promised sou' westerly filling in and provided an interesting fetch as the gusts slammed down off the hills to test the nerves of all . Places had changed yet again as middle and back markers caught and passed the swimming leaders . Katie/Fi and Euan/Angela were knocked out of contention and allowed Kirsty/Sandy , Graeme/Shona and Aly /Nichola to power home in this order under tremendous reaching conditions . Saturday evenings dinner and entertainment was thoroughly enjoyed by all and the fleet were certainly made to feel at home by their congenial hosts . The RS200 fleet thank Loch Earn for all their hard work and look forward to returning next year .
Results : 1 Euan Dunn 723 (6) 2 Katie Masterson 544 (9) 3 Alison Davies 232 (9) 4 Kirsty McSeveney 689 (9) 5 Greame Henry 661 (12) 6 Douglas Hamilton 444 (14) 7 Keith Cuthbert 302 (18) 8 Richard Evans 516 (20) 9 Gavin Marshall 314 (22) 10 Dave Redpath 683 (26) 11 Pete Birrell 453 (28)
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