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Kippford Week 2022 at Solway Yacht Club - Sun, sea breezes inshore and close racing

by Ian Purkis 15 Aug 2022 22:46 PDT 8-14 August 2022

After the busy Cadet Week at Solway Yacht Club, it was another early start for sailors in Kippford Week 2022. Unusually the sailing started on Tuesday, demanded by the tide times and as crews arrived at 8am, it was flat calm and windless. But nature did its bit and by launching time a light sea breeze and started to build and most boats were able to sail out to the start line.

After their "Look Around" news visit during Cadet Week, ITV Border television were welcomed back to cover Kippford Week for "Border Life", due to be broadcast in three to four weeks' time. Out in the Solway the sea breeze was weaker so the racing for the larger yachts was a very sedate affair, the TV crew enjoying a grandstand view, cruising round the beautiful surroundings in glorious sunshine aboard a RIB under engine power. Nevertheless, in the Flying fifteen keelboats, Club Commodore Scott Train and Membership Secretary, Anne Stewart won with Fiona and Gordon Blandford getting the first win in the cruisers.

Inshore where there was a little more wind, the dinghy fleet were getting first points on the board with wins for Ian Holden and Nicola Nelson (RS400) in the fast handicap fleet, Mark Lewis and Beatrice Overend (GP14 medium handicap), Simon Wilson (ILCA 6 Laser Radials) and Cadets Toby and Ida Iglehart in the Slow Handicap fleet, the brother and sister pair going on to win every race in the week. The lack of wind had delayed the offshore racing and while towing back one of the Flying Fifteens, "Alicat", the Committee Boat, with Race Committee aboard, ran aground on the Urr estuary mud and on the falling tide got firmly stuck. This led the safety boats to the unexpected task of rescuing the Race Committee, somewhat red-faced with the alternative of several hours wait for the tide to refloat them! However, all in good humour, with "Alicat" safely recovered undamaged on the evening tide.

Wednesday and similar conditions but two races in each class, several different winners emerged. Duncan Blandford (ILCA 7 Laser full rig, fast handicap race 2), Stewart Mitchell (Finn, Fast Handicap race 3), Ian and Margaret Purkis (Firefly, Medium Handicap, race 2), Hamish and Sally Mackay (Laser 2000, race 3). The ILCA 6 Laser Radials, racing in the medium handicap fleet Ann Brining (race 2), Simon Wilson (race 3).

Not much change in the conditions for Thursday and similar results but the Mackay crew with two wins were establishing a strong series lead in the competitive medium handicap fleet.

The rest of the week saw little change in conditions with more amazing hot sunshine and sea breeze in the estuary but little wind beyond. By Saturday the wind in the Solway was weaker still with the final race for the Flying Fifteens abandoned by the Race Officer with the leading boats only twenty yards short of the finish line before the tide started to carry them back in the wrong direction.

Nevertheless, races had been successfully completed in all classes, the inshore dinghy racing fleet managing all eight of the planned programme, a credit to Lindsay Tosh and Willie Patterson, the Race Officers. Special mention and thanks go to Colin Stewart and Duncan Gillespie, the Race Officers for the larger yachts who'd had to step in for the planned officer, who'd suffered enforced unavailability the day before. Thanks, as well to Richard Bishop and his team of Safety Boat crews, Pier Master Gordon Daly and to Liz Train and Murray Tosh with their great team of galley and bar volunteers.

Before the main prize-giving, there was some unfinished business from Cadet Week. Unfortunately, the wrong PN handicap number had been used in calculating the slow handicap fleet result, wrongly awarding the winner's trophy and prize to young Oliver Bennet. This had to be corrected and showing great maturity, Oliver immediately returned his awards and made sure the true winner, Toby Iglehart was the recipient. The Committee was so impressed that a new "SYC Sportsmanship Trophy", presented by Heather Dodds, herself a former Kippford Flying Fifteen crew, was awarded to Oliver, him becoming its first ever recipient. His example truly sets the standard and in time, the trophy will be awarded to others who demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship.

Kippford Week Overall Results:

Fast Handicap Fleet
1st Stewart Mitchell (Finn)
2nd Duncan Blandford (ILCA 7 Laser)
3rd Ian Holden and Nicola Nelson (RS400)
4th Keith Veasey (Finn)
5th Rhys Williams (ILCA 7 Laser)
6th Simon Roberts (ILCA 7 Laser)
7th Graham Young (RS Aero 7)
8th Katie Bishop and Nicola McColm (RS400)
9th Ellie Young and Claire Stewart (RS200)
10th Jack Jardine and James Kelly (Fireball)
11th Mhairi MacDonald and Ben Townsend (Bahia)
12th James Bishop and Alex Lammie (Fireball)
13th Ellie Rowand and Lilli Bell (Fireball)
14th Finlay Train and Hannah Davison (Tasar)
15th Matthew Murray-Downing (Contender)

Medium Handicap Fleet (racing with ILCA 6 / Laser Radials)
1st Hamish and Sally Mackay (Laser 2000)
2nd Mark Lewis and Beatrice Overend (GP14)
3rd John Broadbent and Anne Craddock (GP14)
4th Ian & Margaret Purkis (Firefly)
5th Emily Biggar and Lewis Alexander (420)
6th Stewart Biggar (Laser 4.7)

ILCA 6 / Laser Radials:
1st Simon Wilson
2nd Ann Brining
3rd Hamish MacDonald
4th Philip Brining
5th Anna Griffin
6th Katherine Kelly
7th Emma Lane

Slow Handicap Fleet
1st Toby & Ida Iglehart (RS Feva XL)
2nd Tamsin Wallace and Elise Reilly (RS Feva XL)
3rd Mollie Keiley and Lucy Leyshon (RS Feva XL)
4th James Colbeck (Topper)

Flying Fifteens
1st Scott Train and Anne Stewart
2nd Chris Taylor and Steve Gaughan
3rd Andrew Johnston and Anna Grafton
4th Jim Holland and Ian Murgatroyd
5th Peter Hammond and John Sproat

1st Fiona and Gordon Blandford (Delphia New Classic)
2nd Angus Campbell and David Harding (Hawk 20)
3rd John Searle and Gareth Jones (Pegasus 800)
4th Robert Dinwiddie and David Wood (Hunter 20)

Kippford RNLI Regatta Race

After weather related disruption last year, it was now back to being held as the "finale" to Kippford Week. The Regatta is one race on a long course with all entry fees and donations being presented to the local RNLI.

With another day of glorious sunshine, the wind initially seemed promising as all the crews, cruisers, Flying Fifteens and racing dinghies arrived in the start are now all under the ROs Lindsay Tosh and Willie Patterson. Several of the boats had new helmsmen or crews, the experienced winners of Kippford Week generously giving the less experienced the opportunity to improve from the experts or use their proven fast boats.

The larger yachts started first, led off by the Kippford "D" class lifeboat, and then it was a mass start for all the rest, excluding only the slow handicap fleet, sailing a shorter course. As the fleet approached the Castle Point windward mark, the wind dropped to almost nothing, leaving all but the few who managed to get clear round, wallowing about in the calm sea. Eventually, long after the leaders had disappeared to the White Port mark, the entire fleet got round but it left those at the tail end with no chance of a decent result. After White Port it was back across the estuary to "E" buoy before the course led inshore towards a few more course buoys to the finish at the Committee boat. With many taking two hours to complete the course, the tow home by the various safety boats against the ebb tide was a relief to most as another special RNLI Regatta day came to an end.

Prizes were presented by Gareth Jones, the Kippford RNLI Operations Manager who spoke of the great support the Solway Yacht Club gives the Kippford RNLI. Afterwards, Scott Train, the Club Commodore, presented a substantial cheque for the Kippford RNLI to Gareth Jones.

Kippford RNLI Regatta Race Results:

1st John Searle and crew Andrew Bodenham, Jock Wishart, and Gareth Jones (Pegasus 800)
2nd Robert Dinwiddie and David Wood (Hunter 20)
No other finishers

Flying Fifteens
1st Colin Filer and Jamie Gascoigne
2nd Scott Train and Anne Stewart
3rd Graeme and Kimberley Benson
4th Andrew Johnston and Anna Grafton

Fast handicap
1st Richard and James Colbeck (Buzz)
2nd Ian Holden and Katie Bishop (RS400)
3rd Rhys Williams (ILCA 7 Laser)
4th Scott McColm (Finn)
5th Stewart Mitchell and Nicola McColm (RS400)
6th Keith Veasey (Finn)
7th Finlay Train (ILCA 7 Laser)
8th Stephen and Lynda Gaughan (Osprey)

Medium Handicap
1st Emily Biggar and Lewis Alexander (420)
2nd Mark Lewis and Beatrice Overend (GP14)
3rd Simon Wilson (ILCA 6 Laser Radial)
4th Stewart Biggar (Laser 4.7)
5th Ian & Margaret Purkis (Firefly)
6th Hamish MacDonald (ILCA 6 Laser Radial)
7th Katherine Kelly (ILCA 6 Laser Radial)

Slow Handicap
1st Sally and Hamish Mackay (Mirror)
2nd Tamsin Wallace and Elise Reilly (RS Feva XL)
3rd Toby & Ida Iglehart (RS Feva XL)

Best ILCA 6 Laser Radial award: Simon Wilson

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