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Solway open meeting
August 22nd and 23rd 2014
A pleasing entry of nine boats turned out for the second of the Scottish N12 Travellers Series for the Lairwell Trophy was held at Solway YC in the beautiful setting of Kippford on the northern side of the Solway Firth on the 23rd and 24th August in glorious, predominantly sunny weather with perfect winds. Three races were held, back to back, out in the estuary on the Saturday followed by the long distance Palnackie race up river on the Sunday.
Race one on Saturday morning was started in glorious sunshine but with a light and fickle offshore breeze prevailing. Mark and Anna Simpson sailing N3472 (Big Issue design) were first to the windward mark with Philip David and Elaine Ross in N3499 (Feeling Foolish design) and Ed Willett and Sarah Smith in N3274 (Crusader 88 design) just behind. Ian and Margaret Purkis, sailing N3384 (Final Chapter design), tangled with the Committee Boat kedge anchor at the start and rounded last. Recovering fast, they caught the leading trio and these four boats extended an enormous lead over the rest of the fleet who fell foul of the fickle conditions. The finishing positions were settled on the penultimate leg of the shortened race as the wind almost completely died. Philip and Ed sailed toward the shore looking for some movement in the air whilst Ian and Mark tacked offshore…as the wind filled in Ian and Mark were the first to gather momentum again and Mark and Anna won the race ahead of Philip and Elaine, with Ian and Margaret third and Ed and Sarah fourth. Alex Tulloch and Dewi Williams sailing N3223 (Crusader design) came home for a distant fifth after breaking free of the rest of the fleet.
The wind filled in dramatically for races 2 and 3 after a 180 degree shift providing for planing conditions on the offwind legs and hard hiking up the beats. The running order was soon established in each race with Philip and Elaine taking two wins, ahead of Mark and Anna with two seconds, Ian and Margaret with two thirds, Neil McInnes and Zak Holland in N3216 (Baggy Trousers design) with two fourths and Ed and Sarah with two fifths.
The wind built dramatically for the return to shore after
race 3 and combined with a shortlived downpour made for a
dramatic high speed return to the Yacht Club in clouds of
On Sunday morning the competitors gathered for the Palnackie Race which is run from Solway YC in Kippford upstream around bends and over the mudbanks of the River Urr to the village of Palnackie where a turning mark is laid and then back to Kippford. With a fresh onshore wind on a flooding tide the start was entertaining as the fleet reached at speed for the line although perfectly timed as there were no recalls. Philip and Elaine and Mark and Anna continued their dominance with Ian and Margaret, Neil and Zak and Ed and Sarah in close proximity for the first half of the race. However as the race developed Ian and Margaret steadily pulled away for another third and Neil and Zak took a comfortable fourth after Ed and Sarah ran aground. The vintage boats showed their mettle on the river with Scott Train (one of Solway YC’s leading Flying Fifteen helms enjoying a National 12 for the first time) and Hannah Davison sailing N1620 (a Proctor Mk6 design) finishing sixth ahead of Rhys Williams and Lucy Allen sailing N1483 (a Proctor Mk4A design) in seventh. Rhys is the Solway YC Cadet Captain, while Hannah and Lucy are both Solway YC Cadet members.
Pictures courtesy: Rachel McInnes