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Events 2015

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Solway open meeting

National 12 GUL Series Event #6
Scottish Championships at Solway Yacht Club

Solway yacht Club, located in the beautiful and picturesque village of Kippford on the northerly coast of the Solway Firth hosted the 2015 National 12 Scottish Championships on the 12th and 13th September. This was the most northerly round of the GUL sponsored national travellers series.

A dreadful forecast of gale force winds and torrential rain contributed to a much depleted entry compared to previous years when this event has been very popular and well supported. With the weather every bit as bad as forecast, PRO Chris Nurney took the inspired decision to reverse the race schedule, making the up-river race to Palnackie and back Race 1 which gave slightly more sheltered conditions, and saving the offshore racing for the next day when the forecast was more hopeful.

Given the conditions it was still quite a surprise to see five boats launch for Race 1. With a short upwind leg from the start out to a windward mark, the fleet were led round by Chris and Sophie Day in N3526 (Dead Cat Bounce design), followed by Ian & Margaret Purkis in N3384 (Final Chapter design), with the other three starters following in close company. The fleet then turned up-river onto a dead run through the moored yachts and then on up river to Palnackie. Chris and Sophie quickly established a good lead whilst behind them the other four boats were in survival mode; pitching and rolling their way round the twists and turns, over the shallows, between fierce gusts and lulls often in pouring rain. Angus Beyts and his SYC Cadet crew Stevie Gaston were rolling wildly in N3199 (Trouble Shooter design) and trouble wasn’t going to be far away. However it was the Williams brothers, Rhys and Huw in N1620 (Proctor Mark 6 design) that came to grief, gybing violently and being pitched into the drink and retirement. This left Angus and Stevie in close company with Scott Train and Anne Stewart sailing N1483 (Proctor Mark 4A design). Up at Palnackie with several astonished onlookers ashore, Chris and Sophie rounded safely to commence the beat back down river while Ian & Margaret unfortunately touched the rounding mark. Penalty turns followed with the tide carrying them back towards the mark and now with the chasing pair on their transom, it took some frantic short tacking across the narrow river to re-establish their second place. Back down the river, Scott & Anne eventually broke clear of Angus and Stevie to bring the 4A home in a very creditable third, ahead of the recovering Trouble Shooter.

On Saturday evening Ian and Margaret hosted a wonderful social event at their house with plenty of excellent food and drink on tap to keep everyone fed and watered whilst Angus provided the entertainment for all with his stories and humour.  Sunday morning dawned with a few hangovers and the weather did nothing to lift the spirits. Despite a better forecast the fleet were met with torrential rain and a stiff southerly breeze blowing directly up the estuary that was bringing a nice swell in on the tide. The crews milled about uncomfortably and with some trepidation before eventually launching right at the last minute. Four boats eventually elected to go afloat to take on the first challenge of the long beat out to the race area against the incoming tide, the second challenge being to survive the large Olympic course set out in the estuary!

Race 2 commenced in probably the strongest wind of the weekend and once again Chris and Sophie dominated, leading at the windward mark by a good margin from Ed Willett and Ian Murgatroyd (who hadn’t been able to sail on the Saturday) in N3274 a Crusader 88 design.  They were followed by Ian and Margaret and on the superb first reach where the boats could surf at high speed on the breaking rollers Ian and Margaret surfed past Ed and Ian to take the lead at the gybe mark which they survived and then went on to extend their lead on the next reach. However whilst Chris and Sophie were sailing a lonely race up front the race for second wasn’t yet over. Ed and Ian sailed a cracking second beat to recover their lost ground and rounded the windward mark just ahead of Ian and Margaret and then managed to stay ahead on the hair raising downwind sausage leg. On the final beat Ed and Ian put a tight cover on Ian and Margaret and they finished in that order. Behind them Angus and Stevie eventually finished after recovering from a capsize.


Solway Winners

Photo: Chris & Sophie Day, winners 

Race 3 commenced immediately after Race 2 and whilst the wind was starting to decline the first triangle still allowed for superb surfing on the ind legs. The wind eventually dropped right away and became quite fickle at the windward mark. The race was somewhat of a procession with Chris and Sophie again leading from start to finish. Ed and Ian were a comfortable second ahead of Ian and Margaret and Angus and Stevie.

Race 4 was abandoned as it appeared that the wind was not going to be strong enough to allow the fleet to complete the large course in the remaining time before the tide dictated an end to sailing. However as the marks were collected and the fleet headed for home the wind picked up dramatically and it was a long goose winged plane for home back up river which caused Angus and Stevie to succumb to their second capsize of the day. With no discards to apply to the abbreviated series of races the overall was decided on the basis of all three race results.


Photo: Ian & Margaret Purkis, second place

Overall a very enjoyable weekend of sailing that lead to some very tired bodies on Monday morning! The National 12 Class would like to thank Solway YC for hosting an excellent event. Despite the challenging conditions the OOD Chris Nurney and his team expertly managed the back to back races. Special thanks also to all those on the water manning the rescue boats and, thanks to the Catering staff who laid on soup and rolls.  We hope more will join us next year.

Generous prizes courtesy of the Event series sponsor Gul, were presented by Solway YC’s Commodore Jim Holland. Special Gul Merit prizes were awarded to Angus Beyts and Stevie Gaston and Huw and Rhys Williams. Chris and Sophie won the overall and the beautiful Scottish Daily Express trophy. Ian and Margaret won the AC boat category and the Mariner Mug and Scott and Anne won the Vintage category.
2015 National 12 Scottish Championships

Overall results


Sail #

Boat name






Catch the Sun

Chris Day

Sophie Day

Leigh and Lowton SC



Cunning Plan

Ian Purkis

Margaret Purkis

Yorkshire Ouse SC/Solway YC



Mr Incredible

Ed Willett

Ian Murgatroyd

Cramond BC



Double Trouble

Angus Beyts

Stevie Gaston

Forfar SC



My Little Margie

Scott Train

Anne Stewart

Solway YC



Mock Turtle

Rhys Williams

Huw Williams

Solway YC



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