Aberdeen & Stonehaven 13-14th August 2011
Aberdeen and Stonehaven Blaze Scottish Championships
The Aberdeen and Stonehaven Sailing Club held its annual regatta over the weekend 13/14 August with generous sponsorship from the Bay Fish and Chip shop and support from Aberdeenshire Council.
The weather was excellent for sailing in Stonehaven Bay and there was good racing in all the fleets; this year the club also hosted the Optimist Regatta fleet and they were out sailing on their own course in Stonehaven Bay. Over 80 boats competed in 8 classes including a hotly contested Blaze fleet, and the harbour was busy with the launching. The wind was good on Saturday and the forecast for light winds on Sunday didn’t materialise with a steadily increasing wind and shifting wind which gave the RIB crews some exercise as they re-set the course for the second race. The onshore highlight of the weekend was a barbeque for everyone on Saturday evening where competition continued with more jostling for position, but this time for the hottest coals.
It was August and the Scottish Championships rolled round again, and two southerners joined the fray, after making their way across the border. (Passports not required …. Yet)
Saturday was lovely day with 15 knots big waves and sunshine, perfect Blaze conditions.
With our own start and 8 boats, the racing was good for all. The first beat was rather short with several boats over standing the mark or going to the asymmetric fleet’s mark by mistake. The following reach was interesting due to the wind direction over the rollers. The second reach was broader allowing lots of surfing down and across the waves. The runs were even more fun for those of us not concerned with leading and doing tactical stuff .
Anyway, after a great spell of sailing and racing, Nick won the first race with Bob 2nd and Martin 3rd. .
The 2nd race was very similar with Nick sailing away, with Bob 2nd and Francis 3rd
In the third race Bob really got in his stride, powering downwind whilst Nick showed his superior speed up wind. However, at the end of the last lap Bob held onto his leeward mark lead to win the race.
Overnight Nick led with 2 wins and a 2nd to Bob’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
The traditional evening Stonehaven hospitality followed with the barbecue and plenty of beer consumed.
Sunday morning dawned with a light wind and flat sea which was kind to all nursing any kind of a baggy head, topped off with lovely warm sunshine. At the start, the wind was swinging significantly, resulting in the main pack of Blazes unable to lay the line on starboard leaving Martin to make a perfect port start, (not that it did any good) . In a light wind the beat was shifty followed by a very long reach which became almost a beat at the end for the gybe mark and the 2nd leg becoming a run.
The 2nd beat was also shifty and the run back took a long time against the tide. The leaders went straight downwind, whilst others tried to reach out left towards some more wind which faded away and they lost touch with the leaders. During the next beat Nick built up a good lead but on the 2nd reach the wind dropped and Bob caught up.
Approaching the leeward mark, Nick decided to give the junior fleet the benefit of his experience and drifted into the midst of a large pack of Oppies and Toppers and stopped!!!. The race was shortened and Bob cannily sailed round the outside of the pack, no doubt with a large grin on his face, and held the lead to the finish.
Soon after the finish the wind freshened and swung , and there was much blasting around whilst waiting for the race officer to relay the course.
The second race began with in a fresh force 3-4 with a swell developing. Nick led from start to finish with Bob 2nd.
Due to a lack of time the 3rd trace was cancelled leaving Nick 1st, Bob 2nd and Martin 3rd.
A great weekends sailing was had by most, with several events worthy of note:-
First, Bob was sailing far too fast having 3 months off, he needs to sail far more regularly!!!
Martin was accused of favouritism by capsizing on the start line in the 3rd race after a near perfect start allowing Bob freedom to go where he pleased and ultimately winning the race.
John has learnt to ask the race officer if he is doing a final race before waiting for 40 minutes to find out he is not
And as for next year, as General Macarthur famously said, “I will be back” (hopefully)
4 from 5 races to count.
1st - Nick Miller (757) - 5 Points - 1,1,2,2,1
2nd - Bob Williamson (778) - 6 Points - 3,2,1,1,2
3rd - Martin Saveker (774) - 13 Points - 2,6,5,3,3
4th - Francis Neil (687) - 14 Points - 9,3,3,4,4
5th - Andrew Grant (642) - 21 Ponts - 5,5,6,6,5
6th - Nigel Orkney (726) - 24 Points - 4,4,9,7,9
7th - John Deacon (775) - 27 Points - 9,9,4,5,9
8th - Mike Fleming (721) - 32 Points - 9,9,9,8,6