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Scottish Championships

    Photos thanks to Andy Johnston/CaledoniaSailing


    Large Windshifts at the JP Watersports RS400 Scottish Champs

    Add a storming entry of 24 boats at one of our favourite sailing clubs in a beautiful seaside town with a promising forecast and you have the makings of a perfect RS400 weekend. Unfortunately for some reason the weather gods didn't seem to fancy an RS400 event at East Lothian Yacht Club on 7 & 8 June. Competitors were greeted by lots of north easterly wind and a falling tide, which can leave breaking waves in the fairway between the launch area and the race course. Opinions varied about how manageable Saturday might be, but the only opinion that mattered was that of the PRO. After a one hour postponement the decision was taken for no racing today. Not everyone agreed, but the decision was logical. Nevertheless, a few hardy souls from the 400 fleet went out for a blast just as the rain set in and met with somewhat mixed fates. The majority of the fleet took advantage of the extra time to reacquaint themselves with the sailing club bar which had proved so popular at the 2013 nationals.

    Phil Britton social convenor extraordinaire then oversaw another classic RS400 social to welcome the many new faces to the fleet, and a massive curry was topped off by the obligatory trip to The Auld Hoose into the wee small, slightly hazy hours! The bar staff appeared genuinely concerned that a certain Pete Ugly Vincent was not in attendance , however we calmed them down and reassured them that he would be back again next year to top up their coffers.


    With an early start in order to fit in up to 5 races, there were a few sore heads but spirits were high as the fleet launched into bright sunshine and a building South Easterly breeze for the 10am start. The first start got away cleanly, with many heading left, inshore, to get out of the tide. Mark Somerville and Joe Roberts from Bassenthwaite built a big lead and were looking good for the win. Alas, halfway up the second beat a substantial right hand shift caused the fleet to be turned on its head with Jim Sinclair and Ben Wilcox seeming to make the biggest gain and jumping into second. On what was expected to be the last run down to the finish, the race officer decided to abandon the race much to the relief of many, although perhaps not Mark and Joe.

    The second race again resulted in many at the port end of the line, pushing towards the inshore side of the first beat to get out of the tide. After a number of sizeable shifts and massive lulls, first to the windward mark were Josh and Patrick Metcalfe hotly pursued by Keith B and Martin McC (sailing a borrowed boat it’s rumoured was once owned by John Wayne). It was clearly worth the long trip from North Wales for the Metcalfes who maintained a solid lead down the run to the finish as the race officer shortened course on the first lap to try and get a race under his belt. Roger Carter and Ian "EinStein" Robertson were chasing Bedborough and McCrew hard right to the finish line but were unable to snatch second .

    After much sunbathing in the now very light winds, the third race got underway. With the tide much stronger it was not looking great and many were caught out at the port end with some truly awful starts! The wind began to really drop away towards the first mark and it was a case of who was lucky enough to get a wee puff here and there. Josh again reached the top mark first and the rest of the leading fleet followed down the inshore side of the run. A number of the trailing boats made the call to gybe out into the tide with the lure of more breeze. This gamble paid off, with a hole appearing at the bottom of the run whilst the wind filled in from the left and those at the back were now sitting pretty whilst the leading fleet were now beating back up to the leeward mark. Jim and Ben took the biggest gain to take the win, followed by the Metcalfes just ahead of Bedborough and McCrew.

    With the tide strengthening and the extremely dubious conditions, time was called on racing for the day. It was a great shame we didn’t manage to get in more racing and all agreed conditions were very unusual for North Berwick. Almost everyone could have found something to moan about, but no-one was sure what they might have done differently - it was just one of those days. That said, a very consistent performance by Josh and Patrick in the very inconsistent conditions secured them a well deserved victory. They were closely followed by Keith and Martin in second overall. Roger and Einstein managed a 4th in the second race and this was enough to give them 3rd overall. Big thanks to Sponsors JP Watersports, DH Systems and Stewart Brewing and special mention to Phil Britton (who almost unbelievably survived a weekend without a single duckhams award), and to 15 year old Harry McCulloch from Dalgety Bay who volunteered to crew for Ben Robertson in his first ever RS400 event, and ended up looking after him for most of the evening !


    Looking forward the next Scottish Tour event is at Prestwick SC in two weeks time , and then down to the Northern Champs at Scaling Dam in the run up to the RS400 Eurocup at Lake Garda in July. With 15 (yes FIFTEEN !) Scottish 400s making the pilgrimage to the Italian sailing mecca the tartan army is clearly on the move – and with entries heading towards 40 the 400s 20th anniversary year continues to gather pace and momentum. 


    by Rog Carter and Jim Sinclair

    Sailwave results for East Lothian Yacht Club Regatta 2014 RS 400 Fleet at 2014

    East Lothian Yacht Club Regatta 2014 RS 400 Fleet

    Results are final as of 14:39 on June 8, 2014


    Sailed: 2, Discards: 0, To count: 2, Entries: 23, Scoring system: Appendix A
    Rank Class SailNo HelmName CrewName Club Tally R1 R2 Total Nett
    1st RS400 1215 Joshua Metcalfe Patrick Metcalfe Y Felinheli 57 1.0 2.0 3.0 3.0
    2nd RS400 1006 Keith Bedborough Martin McCrew Dalgety Bay S.C. 7 2.0 3.0 5.0 5.0
    3rd RS400 922 Roger Carter Ian Robertson Wormit Boating Club 5 3.0 4.0 7.0 7.0
    4th RS400 1362 Jim Sinclair Ben Wilcox East Lothian Yacht Club 2 9.0 1.0 10.0 10.0
    5th RS400 1049 Neil McLellan Ollie Milling-Smith Dalgety Bay S.C. 64 4.0 6.0 10.0 10.0
    6th RS400 1196 Peter Snowdon David Serle Scaling Dam Sailing Club 12 8.0 5.0 13.0 13.0
    7th RS400 1398 Stuart Urquhart richard Urquhart Royal Findhorn Yacht Club 55 5.0 8.0 13.0 13.0
    8th RS400 1294 John MacKenzie Andy Box Dalgety Bay S.C.   10.0 7.0 17.0 17.0
    9th RS400 1161 Ben Robertson Harry McCulloch   52 7.0 10.0 17.0 17.0
    10th RS400 1260 Steven Forteith Pat Shellcock Oban Sailing Club 39 6.0 13.0 19.0 19.0
    11th RS400 440 Robert Yeamans Nadia Mcminn Aberdeen & Stonehaven Yacht Club 33 12.0 9.0 21.0 21.0
    12th RS400 542 Angus Marshall Calanach MacDonell Finlayson Bardowie Loch Sailing Club 69 11.0 15.0 26.0 26.0
    13th RS400 1129 David Webley Fraser Mulford Wormit Boating Club 48 17.0 12.0 29.0 29.0
    14th RS400 1082 Mark Somerville Joe Roberts Bassenthwaite Sailing Club 62 13.0 16.0 29.0 29.0
    15th RS400 1043 Ian Watkins Imogen Whittam Grafham water sailing Club 28 20.0 11.0 31.0 31.0
    16th RS400 739 Phil Hermiston Tove Hermiston Royal Findhorn Yacht Club 56 14.0 17.0 31.0 31.0
    17th RS400 1337 Graeme Henry Katie Masterson St. Mary's Loch Sailing Club 4 19.0 14.0 33.0 33.0
    18th RS400 1198 Simon Gray Hannah Robertson Chanonry Sailing Club 67 16.0 18.0 34.0 34.0
    19th RS400 768 Colin Davies Naomi Moran Aberdeen & Stonehaven Yacht Club 15 18.0 19.0 37.0 37.0
    20th RS400 877 Phil Britton Jules Thorne Dalgety Bay S.C. 40 15.0 24.0 DNC 39.0 39.0
    21st RS400 1319 Stewart Robertson Sarah Robertson Royal Forth Yacht Club 54 24.0 DNC 24.0 DNC 48.0 48.0
    21st RS400 658 Andy McGibbon James Pearson   20 24.0 DNC 24.0 DNC 48.0 48.0
    21st RS400 1018 Alan Henderson Alastair Barrie East Lothian Yacht Club 22 24.0 DNC 24.0 DNC 48.0 48.0

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