By Iain McGonigal
Nineteen sailors signed up for the Northern Championships at East Lothian Yacht Club in the seaside town of North Berwick. Six local sailors were joined by visitors from clubs as far apart as the Isle of Man, Warrington, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Aberdeen. Several arrived Friday and sampled the delights of the Puffin and the Herringbone in North Berwick, keeping up the traditional Northern race preparation!
The East Lothian coast was at its most benign for on Saturday morning, with a light to moderate westerly breeze and a relatively gentle swell. Race Officer Bill Roberts set a trapezoid course between the islands of the Bass and the Craig, to the east of the sailing club. With many Northern Circuit regulars chasing a good score for the traveler series championship, plus a few less weel-kent faces hoping to make their mark, it was all to play for. Most opted for the 7 rig, however local sailors Robbie Lawson and Donald Maclean opted for Aero 9 rigs, and young Ellen Clark, sailing an aero competitively for the first time, opted for a 5.
Robbie Lawson took line honours in all three races on the Saturday, scoring 2, 3, 3 on handicap. In the 7 fleet, racing was close in the first two races beteen Angus Boyd of ELYC and Gareth Williams of Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club, both showing upwind speed everyone else struggled to match.They scored one win each. A few were caught out by the significant tidal flow at the windward mark. By race 3 the wind had picked up a little and Iain McGonigal (ELYC), having been DNF’d for failing to go through the gate in race 2, got a clean start and led all the way. Angus Boyd again showed his consistency to take second and finish the day on top of the series.
After three hard series races, ELYC laid on an extra treat for the tired sailors; an optional one-off race around a couple of the local islands.A beat of over 2 miles westwards to the Lamb, against the tide in a building breeze, saw the local sailors heading inshore from the start to rockhop their way up the coast.Visitors less familiar with the shoreline followed tentatively. Iain McGonigal and John Wilcox, (ELYC) ducked and weaved all the way up, with Iain just reaching the Lamb first. The island was rounded to starboard a with a turn downwind to leave the Craig to starboard. The downwind leg in a good 15-20kts with bigger waves caught a few out, as did the rounding of the Craig which involved crossing through the wind shadow of the island cliffs. A capsize behind the Craig put paid to John’s chance of catching Iain but he recovered well and still finished second. First visiting sailor was Steve Stewart (Yorkshire Dales SC). As it turned out this was a race that only a local should win, so fair play to all the visitors who got round!
Saturday nights on the Northern circuit are legendary, however this was a subdued affair. After a free drink provided by NB Gin and an excellent meal provided by Andreas and Karen in the ELYC Sail Loft Cafe, including FREE PUDDING! of course (thanks to Steve at the Airshed), everyone retired to the bar where exhaustion set in. This resulted in the earliest Saturday night in the history of the Northern circuit.
Sunday dawned windy as forecast, with wind against tide generating some big wave sets.A few decided that discretion was the better part of valour and opted not to go out, and a few more opted for a 5 rig. Out on the race course the wind was well into the 20-30kt range, with gusts of 31kts recorded at the club weather station on the shore. Chris Perry (Aberdeen and Stonehaven YC) and Peter Craggs (York RI) mastered the conditions first and shared the first two races. The remaining positions were decided mainly by who capsised the fewest number of times! The wind continued to strengthen and in race three Robbie Lawson took the line honours again, but in a 5 rig! However as he was sailing under his 9 rig handicap he only managed second! Iain McGonigal (ELYC) in the 7 rig managed to get round the 3 laps with the mast pointing at the sky and took the win.
Angus Boyd (ELYC) continued to sail consistently and did enough on day 2 to maintain his first-day lead and take the series overall, with Iain McGonigal only 1 point behind and Peter Craggs (York RI) coming through to 3rd overall.
A great weekend’s sailing, with the closeness of the racing and 5 different race winners testament to the growing quality of the Aero fleet, among both circuit regulars and those we don’t see around so often.
ELYC put on a very well-organised event both on shore and on the water, and a big thanks from the Aero fleet to all the volunteers and to the sponsors Airshed and NB Gin. ELYC host the next Aero Nationals from 24th to 28th July 2019, and we hope that our Northern friends return and many more will come enjoy this fantastic venue next summer.
Big congratulations to Michael Alexander, who finished an excellent 4th place at the 2018 Hadron H2 Nationals at Herne Bay Sailing Club.
Source and report: Sail World
Additional photos of the RS Aero Northern Champs have been uploaded. Take a look here.
Jon Shaw did East Lothian Yacht Club proud during the 2018 Phantom National Championships, by placing 14th overall in a fleet of 51 boats.
The event highlight for Jon, which ran from 7th-9th September at Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club, was in race 5 during which he secured a highly impressive 5th place!
Well done Jon!
Source: Yachts and Yachting
Huge congratulations to Angus Boyd who took first place at the RS Aero Northern Championships, at his home Club no less, on the weekend of 09/09/2018.
It was a strong showing from East Lothian Yacht Club members. Not only from those competing in the event itself, but those who gave up their weekends to provide rescue cover, race management and hospitality to our guests!
Thanks also to those who traveled considerable miles to join us for the event. We hope you enjoyed it and hope to see you all back for the Nationals in 2019!
Photos will be posted as we get them.
Our very own Jon Shaw has ventured south to Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club to compete in the 2018 Phantom National Championships.
Its a good thing he's used to heights as he finds himself 17th in a fleet of 51 after day one!
All the best for the rest of the week, Jon!
Yachts and Yachting are covering the event here
Photos of Midweek Autumn 6 - (22 August 2018) added. Pictures by Derek Braid
September 8th and 9th September 2018
If you would like to sail an Aero at the above regatta but don't have your own boat then JP Watersports is able to offer a number of charter boats for the weekend. The cost will be £150 and the boats will be delivered to and picked up from North Berwick.
If you are interested please get in touch directly with JP Watersports (email@example.com, or 07712896502)
You will need to be quick though as there are not many available and I'll shortly be putting out an email to the wider community of Northern and Scottish Sailing Clubs.
3 of East Lothian Yacht Club's most dedicated souls, Iain McGonigal, John Wilcox and Robbie Lawson, dragged themselves, and their boats all the way down to the Weymouth & Portland for the 2018 RS Aero World Championships during the week of 4th-10th August.
A sum total of 208 boats competed across the 4 fleets. 61 Aero 5's, 43 Aero 9's and Aero 7 Gold/Silver fleets consisting of 53 boats each. This shows exactly how popular this boat has become since its release in 2014.
A total of 12 races made up the series for each fleet (i'm exhausted just thinking about that!) with Robbie finishing 17th in the 9's, Iain taking 33rd in the 7 Gold fleet and John securing 47th, also in the Gold fleet.
All three a credit to the club and no doubt they were promoting East Lothian Yacht Club with the Northern Champs and Nationals visiting us in the near future.
Well done chaps!
The results for the 2018 Summer Series, have been updated.
You can view them here.
East Lothian Yacht Club | 36-40 Victoria Road | The Harbour | North Berwick | East Lothian | EH39 4JL