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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

WASZP Open at Oban Sailing Club

by WASZP Class 10 May 07:39 PDT 7-8 May 2022
WASZPs at Oban © Stephen Lawson Photography

Over the weekend 7th & 8th of May, the WASZP class headed to Oban in the stunning West highlands of Scotland - the furthest north in the UK the class has ventured. Two local boats were joined by boats from Dalgety, Derwent and on Sunday fresh back from a good showing at the Europeans in Mar Menor, Ewan Wilson.

Mirror conditions greeted the sailors on Saturday morning, but after a short postponement a steady 6/8knot south westerly filled in. Low riding racing is better than no racing at all, so slow boat tactics were the order of the day for the three races planned. After a clean fleet start in race 1 and a tight contest up the first beat between all the boats, Andy Hutchinson put a marker down and won a close race with battles throughout the fleet.

In race 2, with Steven Forteith tight at the pin, the gun went and the fleet were away, except for poor Steven who was now upside down releasing the main foil from the pin anchor line. Again is was Andy who, after a close battle, took a second win of the day, with local Ben Miller (on his first ever open event in any boat) coming through to take an excellent 2nd place, and Steven working his way back through the fleet to take 3rd.

Race 3 was a masterclass in low riding from John MacKenzie who won by a large margin, with Duncan Hepplewhite finding some form to take 2nd, and Steven third.

With an evening meal planned the day was wrapped up with a forecast of big breeze for Sunday.

On Sunday, again calm conditions greeted the sailors. But as per the forecast, the fleet soon headed out to the bay at 18 knots of boat speed to the racecourse on the stunning Firth of Lorne, bathed in sunshine.

Race four and five would be best described as snakes and ladders, with Ewan Wilson giving a masterclass, staying on the ladders and taking two wins. Steven, with a one-point gap to close on Andy, took two 2nds, with Andy following in with two thirds. Further down the ranks, the battles continued. Race six and Ewan again took the win, with Steven closing in on another 2nd until avoiding action was required at the finish line to a low riding boat. This resulted in a wipe out that let the ever-chasing Andy Hutchinson fly in for 2nd and Steven sorting himself out to take third.

Race seven and the breeze was now 22/23 knots. Finally Andy and Steven got a grip of the flying Ewan to take 1st and 2nd with Ewan third.

For the final race of the day the points were tight. Steven needed boats between himself and Andy whilst Andy just needed to remain consistent.

Steven and Ewan set off the line on port crossing the fleet, with Andy heading right. A tight two laps at high speed were completed with Ewan and Steven side by side down the last run. At the finish both fell off the foils and crossed the line for a photo finish side by side. Steven took the win by a nose, looking back to see if he had enough boats between himself and Andy. It was not to be for Steven as the ever-consistent Andy fended off John and Duncan to take third and win the event by one point. Steven was second overall with Ewan taking third despite missing Saturday.

Thanks to Oban SC for putting on an amazing event, WASZP UK and Sailingfast for the support, Owen Sails for the prizes and Seagrass Marine for the additional support.

The UK fleet looks forward to heading north of the wall later in the year for the Scottish Championship and UK GP at Loch Lomond and in the meantime, has its sights set on a record-breaking UK Nationals in Weymouth.

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