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    JP Watersports RS200 Scottish tour - Part 4


    Prestwick sailing club June regatta and RS200 traveller took place on Saturday 21 June, in company with rs400, Laser, Merlin rocket and skiff fleets.

    Arriving in the ample car park next to Prestwick sailing club and looking out under blue skies across the firth of Clyde to the distant Arran and Ailsa Craig it was hard for Bill and I not to notice that the wind strength was not looking ideal for our combined weight. As we greeted the other 4 rs200 crews and shared forecasts, it was reassuring to start feeling a few pockets of breeze working their way between the cars, vans, boats and trailers butting up to the esplanade. Even so, a puddle started to form under Gavin and Finlay's transom as all extra weight was eliminated. 

    As we assembled our boats with 1 eye to the shroud pins and the other to the clouds starting to form in the distance, the realisation started to grow. Onshore breeze, open water, sun, sandy beach and building waves. The Scottish riviera was starting to come to life and promising a good day on the water. After a welcome from the commodore and briefing from the race officer, we set about getting changed and applying sun screen. Ally and Amanda deciding that despite the trip south, it was still cool enough for matching white spray tops. Cool indeed. Stuart and Ruaridh went for pessimistic headgear of rainproof hat and full face balaclava respectively while Neil and Alice agreed with the majority that hikers were in and dry suits were out.

    The windward/leeward course was set heading out towards Lady Isle in a west northwest direction, with start line to port of the committee boat and a finish line to starboard. The line was set squarely and the first 3 minute warning sounded as soon as the combined fleets arrived in the racing area. As the start neared, 5 RS200s came in from all angles in true scottish style to line up and start cleanly. The first beat showed what the day was to hold, with plenty of place changing, the heavier crews being able to sit out comfortably in the gusts when the lighter crews were feeling the strain.

    At the windward mark we bore away straight into a genaker hoist, thanks to a well laid spreader mark. Then as we bore away again, it was confirmed that with the tide taking us downwind, there was no planing to be done. Different angles were taken. Gavlay and Neilice heading straight for the bottom mark while martill headed higher in hope of catching some waves. As the bottom mark neared and we all drew back together, it became apparent that the wind was dropping and as genakers started to collapse, the sinking feeling came over some of us that the days racing may be about to end. Gavlay rounded the bottom mark first and pointed gently up into the tide with eased sails, Martill did the same but pointed too high and stopped. Neilice used their momentum and tacked on the mark, only to get the sinking feeling around their ankles. No need to ask for water at that mark. Martill then decided that tacking was a good idea, so as to get away from the leeward mark, only to nearly get washed onto that very mark by the tide. Clearing the mark, martill sailed across Neilice's stern with sails set to a close reach. Allyanda and Stuaridh hopefully saw some sense amongst this 3 way split, rounded without hiccup and didn't look back in case that dreaded leeward mark was still on their tails. What then became a distraction from the flaccid telltales, was planing skiffs and heeling lasers on the top half of the course with the returning wind starting to stretch its fingers towards us. The left was the first side to get a hitch and took Martill off with great relief to a shortened course finish, followed by Neilice, Gavlay, Allyanda, then Stuaridh.

    After a quick realignment of the racecourse, race 2 got under way. This time the lighter winds sent the lighter crews to the front, all boats sailing deeper on the downwind legs. Gavlay was first to finish and a 30 degree shift on the last leg allowed Neilice to pull ahead of Martill, followed by Allyanda then Struaridh.

    The northward shift stayed, but with no time to reset the course, race 3's countdown was begun. The committee boat was the end to be at by 30 degrees and with a bigger fleet there would have been some serious words being uttered. As it turned out, the line-up was very polite, but the tide, committee boat end bias and some variations in watch settings meant an individual recall was signalled. Fortunately for Martill, who was so keen to start at the committee boat the he had hung back and created a second row, was able to start at full speed and shoot forward to make a punishing lead with clean wind. The wind had strengthened as well as changing direction, meaning planing downwind became a reality and Martill were able to maintain the lead to the finish. Gavlay followed, with Allyanda making a best score close behind, leading Neilice then Stuaridh to the end of what indeed was a good day on the water. 

    Thank you to Prestwick sailing club race team, safety and mark layers. Thanks also to the kitchen and bar staff for keeping us fed and watered. A short prize giving was held for the RS200 fleet, as the main regatta prize giving was to be on the Sunday for those staying for more refreshments and the 2 day event. Thanks to Alan Henderson at fotoboat for the first prize, photos of the event can be seen at:

    JP Watersports Scottish Tour


    Results are final as of 9:59 on June 25, 2014


    Sailed: 3, Discards: 1, To count: 2, Entries: 5, Scoring system: Appendix A
    Class SailNo Club HelmName CrewName R1 R2 R3 Total Nett
    RS200 930 Largs Martin Faulkner Bill Forsyth 1 -3 1 5 2
    RS200 1203 Dalgety Bay Gavin Mckinnon Finlay McKinnon -3 1 2 6 3
    RS200 1281 Helensburgh Neil Manderson Alice Meaden 2 2 -4 8 4
    RS200 774 Helensburgh Ally Paton Amanda Paton -4 4 3 11 7
    RS200 1393 Largs Stuart Ross Ruaridh Ross -5 5 5 15 10

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