Aberdeen and Stonehaven Yacht Club was the location of the latest installment of the Stewart Brewering RS400 Scottish Tour. Saturday 17th saw 14 boats and crews arrive for what was forecast to be a blustery weekend. The chat around the boat park on the first morning seem to revolve around the new sail vs older sail debate with a majority of the fleet choicing to hoist their secondary set due to the wind strength.
At just after 1pm the fleet lined up for the first start and quickly found the course you got to the windward mark and the cliffs near by the gustier and shiftier it got. Jamie and I slotted into our usual mid fleet position and happily caught a few nice gusts on the way down wind. At the front the usual suspects of Stewart & Sarah, Neil & Ewan, John & Andy and locals Bob & Nadia were fighting it out, with Team Robertson coming out on top. But to be honest we were having too much fun blasting around to pay them too much attention.
Race 2 the wind was still as gusty but felt like it had dropped a wee bit with some down wind legs being a deep soak at points. Unfortunately John and Andy's spinnaker halyard had descide to break and the Robertson also had boat issues and both didn't get make it to the end of the race. This left the door open for Neil and Ewan to take the first of their 2 wins of the day followed by the local boat of Bob and Nadia.
Race 3 seemed to be going the same way as the first 2 for us battling it out mid fleet. This was until the leeward mark on the punultimate lap when we found ourselves in 3 place, we still aren't quite sure how it happened made the most of it and fought to keep a head of Dave and Fraiser, who we had been close to all day, push us hard until the finish line.
Back in to boat park people swapped stories whilst indulging in refreshments provide by the tours sponsor Stewart Brewering. It had been a wet day for lots of people with the leeward mark seeming to be a very popular place to test out the refreshing water. Amanda told is about her latest idea for mixing racing up, "So after we capsized, the boat came back up, sails full, and I was water skiing along..."
Sundays weather looked a lot like Saturdays but with a bite more bite, more wind and bigger waves. 11am start time came and went as the rece team struggled to get the committee boat to anchor in the large waves. After a short delay about half the fleet launched with the rest deciding that with the nationals the following weekend that it was the day to test the strength of their boats. Those of use who when put screamed and surfed our way towards the committee boat for a while before it was decided that racing was to be abandoned for the day due to the conditions. This meant the overnight results were the final result with Neil & Ewan in first followed by Bob & Nadia and Jamie & Neil rounding off the podium.
Thanks to everyone at Stonehaven for putting on another memorable event, special thanks to the Carron Fish Bar for sponsoring the event.
The next Stewart Brewering RS400 Scottish Tour event is the final one of the series at Lochaber on the 21st & 22nd September.
Report written by Neil McLaren
Photos taken by Pete Jennings