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Solway Yacht Club Championship Weekend

by Ian Purkis 16 Sep 2019 22:13 PDT 14-15 September 2019

While there is still the Solway Yacht Club championship to settle, this weekend saw the final Open events in Kippford with the magnificent Scottish Daily Express National 12 Championship trophy, first awarded in 1953, up for winning. In parallel, the Club also again hosted the Scottish Finn class championship and while these were two-day events, on Saturday the fleet was expanded with the Club's Laser Open joining the fray.

Saturday dawned with strong and very gusty winds from the South West as the fleet set out to the Race Committee boat anchored out in the Solway. The National 12s and Finns were competing in a six-race series and immediately it was the familiar, very fast, multicoloured National 12 of father and daughter crew of Mark and Anna Simpson who started a clean sweep of wins in every race, truly in a class of their own. Nevertheless, the race for the remaining podium places was extremely close, father and son crew of Tim and Christopher Hampshire being claiming second in race 1 but Tony Dufton and Matthew Foster crossing the line six seconds ahead to take second spot in race 2.

In the Finns, Solway YC's own Stewart Mitchell, won race 1 but non-starter in race 1, John Colgreve, joined the combined fleet and took race 2, starting a series long, match racing tussle with Mitchell.

In the Lasers, Peter Whipp from Bassenthwaite SC claimed the first win but Stephen Roberts in his Laser 4.7 mastered the difficult conditions to take race 2 while Greg Liggins took race 3 and the overall win, finishing in the top 3 in all three races. It was good to see the home Club well represented with Stewart Biggar and Simon Wilson claiming 4th and 5th places respectively.

Meanwhile, in the very gusty and shifty conditions, the safety crews were being kept very busy with almost every boat suffering capsizes but most recovering well. In the N12s even the Simpson crew had a capsize but they managed to keep theirs between races so not when it mattered. By Race 3 in the pattern was established with the Simpsons winning again, the Hampshires second but now it was Neil McInnes and his Solway YC Cadet crew Mhairi McFadzean who took third spot. The concluding race on day 1 in the Finns again went to Colgreve.

As is now well established, and big thanks to volunteer chef Willie Patterson and his team, a superb Mediterranean themed evening social followed. This had everyone enjoying good food and great company with a very happy mix of different fleets sailors, their families and local SYC members.

Day 2 with less wind there was great sailing. Again, it was the Simpson and Hampshire crews that set the pace but further down the fleet racing was very close with Ian and Margaret Purkis getting past the McInnes/McFadzean crew on the last lap to get third in race 4, only to have positions reversed in race 5. The final race of the series had the Purkis crew off to a great start and giving the Hampshire crew a close race with the very consistent McInnes/McFadzean and Dufton/Foster crews all in close contention. Not far behind was the rapidly improving Beyts / Copeman pairing in Angus Beyts' experimental foiling boat which shows great potential for the future. By the conclusion, the Hampshires again took second from the Purkis crew and Dufton/Foster in 4th. Sadly, the sole representative of the vintage National 12s, sailed by class stalwarts, Brian Herring and Ros Stevenson were eliminated in race 4 by a nasty capsize at the gybe mark but transfer to the Committee boat by the safety team had them well cared for while their boat was towed home.

Rounding off the Finns, it was a Colgreve / Mitchell benefit event but, spoiling Colgreve's dominance, Mitchell was delighted to win the final, very competitive, race.

Overall Results:

Scottish National 12 Championship
1st Mark and Anna Simpson (Scaling Dam SC)
2nd Tim and Christopher Hampshire (Ripon SC)
3rd Neil McInnes and Mhairi McFadzean (Yeadon SC / Solway YC)
4th Tony Dufton and Matthew Foster (Yeadon SC)
5th Ian and Margaret Purkis (Solway SC)
6th Angus Beyts and Bruce Copeman (Newburgh SC / Solway YC)
7th Brian Herring and Ros Stevenson (Winsford Flash SC)

Finns Scottish Championship
1st John Colgreve (Aberdeen & Stonehave YC)
2nd Stewart Mitchell (Solway YC)

Laser Grand Prix
1st Greg Liggins (Derwent Reservoir SC)
2nd Stephen Roberts (WLYC)
3rd Peter Whipp (Bassenthwaite SC)
4th Stewart Biggar (Solway YC)
5th Simon Wilson (Solway YC)
6th Richard Earnshaw (Yeadon SC)

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