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Northern 29er Sprints 2022 at Royal Tay Yacht Club

by Alistair MacKinnon 24 Mar 08:57 PDT 19-20 March 2022
Northern 29er Sprints at Royal Tay YC © David Sturrock & Neil MacKinnon

Saturday, March 19th dawned, the first of two consecutive days racing on the Tay. This, the first Northern 29er event of 2022, promised to be fun with 16 short races in all over the two days. The sun was actually shining and there was plenty of wind at 13-15 knots.

After bacon rolls and social rigging, we had a briefing at 11am on the 'Grassy Beach' then launched soon after into the cold Easterly and the spring tide which was racing in, up the Tay. The racing start and finishing lines were just off the old beach clubhouse and the windward mark lay East of this, up-tide and out towards the North Sea in the vicinity of Broughty Ferry Castle. It was a picturesque scene if you had time to take it in.

The conditions were much the same both days and the racing was the best we had all seen all winter. The start lines were tricky with all the boats in such a close vicinity and the tide made it difficult to judge where to line up before the start.

There were a few options available on the upwind section of the course, you could go south for heavier and more consistent wind but with a lot more tide, or you could go north and have shiftier wind but a lot less tide. Most boats went inland because the tide on the Tay is fierce and unforgiving. However, even though we all chose the same general course, there was great variation on how far some boats went inshore. It was all very exciting from a tactical point of view! Some boats went really far inshore risking running aground and others didn't fancy risking it.

On the downwind legs the obvious choice was to go far south into the stronger winds and tide (in the correct direction this time!!!) and gybe early so you would have enough time to drop the kite without missing the gate!

This was my first event in the 29er and what a way to start! Everyone was very welcoming and friendly and happy to help, no matter how small the issue someone was always around to help out! After sailing on Saturday we all went to the Bell Tree pub to eat and had a fantastic evening.

Congratulations to James and Robbie for coming first in almost all the races to come 1st overall, and to Elise and Fergus for coming 2nd overall and to every other boat who participated!

I must thank my crew for the weekend, Matthew Park, for being such an excellent crew and also Susie Sturrock for 'crew finding' him. On behalf of all the sailors: thanks to the race committee, the safety ribs and especially Dave 'Bear' Sturrock, for all the hard work they put in to make this event happen. Another huge thanks to Bear for his excellent hospitality and for letting so many of us stay over! The next Northern 29ers event is at Loch Tummel on Thursday June 2nd and Friday 3rd after the SQA exams. I can't wait! Hope to see everyone there!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12R13R14R15Pts
1st2119James GiffordRobbie LittlefieldRTYC/Helensburgh11111‑2‑22111111114
2nd134Else FitzgeraldFerugus MunroPrestwick3333‑433(DNC)242222234
3rd401Alistair MacKinnonMatthew ParkDBSC/ASYC(DNC)‑6553443323343345
4th2219Danny ScottTom IrvingRTYC22222111(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC53
5th1157Fraser PatrickJonas ElderDBSC5576555(DNC)435534(DNC)62
6th726Rebecca ShearerSarah BellDBSC6767(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC5544DNCDNCDNC84
7th801Suzie SturrockRory AngusRTYC/Wormit4444(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC88

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