Just thought a post in the Forum might get more exposure than in Sailors Yarns, so, apologies for the narrative, but there are also some bits of info that some of you might need.
BFG decided that a long weekend in Helensburgh was not sufficient incentive to tow a Sonata 600 miles so we looked at the Scottish race card and decided that the Kip Regatta, followed by the Scottish Seriest at Tarbert should be included. Although, for us, this has meant some serious commuting, I have to say that the hospitality and camaraderie we experienced at both venues made it all very much worth while. Mark, Sarabande, thanks for tea and advice at KIp and organising a great evening at the Inverkip Hotel; Jazz crew, thanks for entertaining our teenagers in both Tarbert and Helensburgh.
At Kip, we were mixed up with three larger boats on our start, and, as it turned out, lots of larger boats around the finishes. Astoundingly, BFG managed a first in the first race. After that, Dave Boatman and the guys cleaned up. Well done, Dave. Our comiserations to Euan on Wicked Wookie who unfortunately had a clash before the first start and missed the whole first day.
At Tarbert, on the first day we on BFG worked out that whenever a large black cloud came over the mountain behind Tarbert, we would have lots of wind. That worked. What didn’t work was what happened next. On one start, we were becalmed, 20 metres from the line, doing the Sonata ‘bounce’ in the Loch Fyne swell and going nowhere. (In my defence, there were a few more Sonatas in a similar predicament). It was certainly challenging. It was very different for us. Nevertheless, when the wind settled down, it rapidly became apparent that you guys up North have an edge on boatspeed. (Reflected in our results)! Not sure why this might be. Maybe because you do events and, in between, you are ashore, dry, whereas we do a season afloat. Any comments are welcome! Race results on the website.
We had a great time at Kip, and especially in Tarbert. If any of you Southern Sonatas are looking for an alternative to Cowes, especially now that Skandia have pulled out, you should look seriously at the Scottish Tarbert event. It is not expensive. The Race Management is superb and the scenery even more so. With a good trailer and the right tow car you can do it in a (long) day’s drive.
BFG is now moored off the Club – another example of generous hospitality, thank you Neil. We are looking forward to a great Nationals. Such a shame that two have had to withdraw, but we are looking forward to mixing it with the rest of you.
As far as Committee maters are concerned, I do not intend to have a formal AGM at Helensbrough. I suggest that we have informal chats after the racing and I will collate any important information to announce at the Saturday dinner.
We have had some issues about safety gear which are now completely resolved. Cat 4 in it’s entireaty is NOT applicable. We run on Sonata One Design rules. Having said that, two Red smoke flares and two Orange floating flares are something that we all ought to have aboard if we race off a coast rather than a lake. We have them on BFG. I will be looking at amending our Class Rules to this effect. I sincerely hope that all of you that can support Whitby. For us on BFG, it will be the end of a great two months in the North of the UK.
We have had a great time so far. We are looking forward to the next two events.
I am glad you have enjoyed your time in Scotland so far. The forecast for Helensburgh this week is for force 3-4 winds a good deal of sunshine, not much rain and not too hot to get sunstroke sitting on a yacht. There will be plenty of socials as well to enjoy and we have even covered the world cup for those interested on Saturday. Just remember I moved up here from the South 42years ago and never went back so there are dangers that you may not have thought of. I look forward to meeting you on Wed or Thursday.
Thanks Chris for a great report. We had a great time at the scottish series in the past and hope to return.
In the 10 years we have owned “A Sharp Exit” we have done alot of travelling to events, to places we had never sailed in before and been to some beautiful parts of the country.
We have always maintained that to improve your sailing, that you should travel to events, in our case going to lakes has helped us hugely as we are mainly sea sailors. Apart from learning alot you meet some great people, go to wonderful places and help the class progress.
Travelling is the way forward , especially for a class like the Sonatas which are spread all over the UK, and owners should try and move away from their home port once a year to experience something different.
We are sorry that Sharp Exit has had to pull out of the Nationals ( my fault!) but we will be at Whitby for the northerns.
See you soon