Scottish RS400 Traveller at Largo Bay
The 2012 RS400 Scottish traveller's series, sponsored by Stewart Brewing . DH Systems and JP Watersports, kicked off with a cracking day's racing at Largo Bay Sailing Club on Saturday 19 May. A healthy mix of the old guard, returning friends, and newcomers to the fleet were greeted by a gusty NE breeze blowing off the land giving flat water but challenging shifts and gusts. In particular it was great to see Richard Shellcock returning to the fleet in his recently purchased ship (1260), and we found out afterwards that the Urquhart twins with their brand new boat were delayed from Findhorn due to road closure and had to turn back.
Race 1 started from a short line into a firm force 4 with most of the fleet favouring the left side of the beat, nearer the shore. Jim Sinclair & Kevan Gibb tacked inside Stewart & Sarah Robertson at the windward mark to lead the fleet onto the first run but the Robertsons found terrific downwind speed to blast away into a lead they never relinquished. Roger Carter & Ian Robertson pulled through to take second with Sinclair & Gibb a close third.
Race 2 was sailed in very similar conditions. After much place changing on the first lap, the leading group arrived at the first leeward gate closely bunched with 5 or 6 boats rounding nose-to-tail. Sinclair & Gibb found extra pace up the second beat and rounded the second windward mark with a comfortable lead. The Robertsons held on for second with Carter & Robertson third.
Race 3 started promptly with the wind having shifted a few degrees to the right and a few lighter patches dotted about the race track. After another tight first lap, returning 400 protégé Ben Robertson & visiting Irish veteran crew Tom Moran took a decisive lead on lap 2 and retained it all the way to the finish. Sinclair & Gibb carefully defended their second place from first Carter & Robertson then from Mr & Mrs Robertson who climbed through the fleet to take third on the final run to the finish.
Counting a 1st and a 2nd, Sinclair & Gibb won overall from Stewart & Sarah Robertson. Ben Robertson & Tom Moran's win in the last race elevated them to third with Carter & Robertson having to settle for 4th, despite counting a 2nd and a 3rd.
As usual, Largo Bay ran a splendid event. Thanks go to the race team on the water and to the team in the clubhouse providing catering and results support. The fleet now moves on to the RS400 Scottish Championship at East Lothian Yacht Club on 2 & 3 June, which will serve as a useful warmup to the national championships returning there next summer.