Pied Piper deservedly won this superb Scottish Series warm up regatta at Inverkip on the Clyde this weekend.
But the tie break rules needed to be scruntinied carefully as 3 boats, So, Saraband and Pied Piper were on equal points at the end with Alan Harper’s Piper squeaking it by virtue of alphabetic ordering of the helms names in ascending order – or whatever the rule is.
Saturday was a light 5kts at best and the first race did a wind reverse not long after the start with the beat turning into a run and vice versa. Piper and Saraband had the better starts but the wind reverse gave “So” a fortunate overtaking opportunity which she took – better to be lucky than good. At the turn So narrowly had it on Piper and on the next leg (now a beat) Piper got into traffic difficulties and then were on the wrong side of a shift that let Saraband in to 2nd. With the nervous committee shortening the course that was that. Race 2 saw the wind shift to sideways across the course shortly before our start. Fiddlesticks did a textbook take out of Saraband and So at the windward start mark – welcome to Sonata sailing guys – and so it was Piper and Fiddlesticks that led this 2 leg reaching race. Fiddlesticks got into a big traffic jam at the windward “Leeward” mark and Saraband and So slipped through the gap and that’s how it finished. The 3 boats closed the day on 4 points each.
Sunday was a warm NW wind down the river and the committee laid a nice line up the west side of the firth opposite Kip. The start line had a heavy bias to the left and left seemed to where the best wind was. Piper and Saraband got the best starts with Fiddlesticks and So had a textbook shocker start that drew some deserved applause from the other crews… The Piper boys and Saraband were swapping the lead up the first beat with Piper slighty ahead at the first turn. It remained close but Piper always looked comfortable and chalked a 2nd win on the board. With a left hand shift So picked off Saraband in the last few meters of the race to set up a thrilling finale for the last race.
Final race – only Pied Piper or So can now win and they eye each other up warily like prize fighters pre start. Pied Piper starts with So almost literally up her transom and Saraband just behind. Fiddlesticks does a carbon copy of So’s start in R3. Saraband splits right. Now So and Piper begin a series of cat and mouse tacks. The Piper boys remain in control at the windward mark but it’s really close. Saraband’s gamble right hasn’t paid off but she’s not far away 3rd. Downhill So and Piper wander left on port and are virually one boat now. Piper gybes across for the bouy and So just misses her stern as she carries on then gybes and just gets the inside as the bouy beckons. But this has let Saraband through and she sails straight to the bouy first so its now Saraband leading, So next and Piper has to take the great circle route round the Leeward mark. Fiddlesticks has been having her best race after the start and now has an overeager incident with Piper that leaves Pied Piper stopped and without a port pushpit. After recovering Piper is just a bit too far behind for the steady conditions and So starts to chip away at Sarabands lead over the next 2 legs but Saraband holds on to claim her victory over So in the series by seconds and the tiebreak.
Well done to Alan Harper and crew who won on number of firsts. WHat a weekend.
The results were misposted at Y&Y.
(PS that Goacher boy won IRC class 2 and won the overall in Keith Lord’s A Crewed Interest – good work from Sonata folk all round.)
Neil Mclure, So