Derek Braid has kindly provided some photos of the first of the Winter Series dinghy races. A glorious day for sailing, for those who could hold onto their breakfast in the rather tricky sea state.
The Closed Regatta is always a well attended event which serves a couple of additional purposes, over and above traditional club racing.
First of all it allows sailors who are perhaps new to racing, to experience Regatta conditions complete with class flags, racing signals, accurately laid courses, true start lines and staggered class starts, all of which add something a little extra to the experience.
It also allows willing club volunteers some practice in setting up for a Regatta in a slightly less pressured environment, compared to what we'd find in our Open Regatta or a National Championship.
As with all of our events, we rely heavily on members helping out, learning new skills and supporting each other to put on events which keep the club rolling. The Closed Regatta is one of these events which helps enable the club to be so highly thought of when it comes to putting on a show. Make no mistake, from Hayling Island to Channonry, we are well known for it. So kudos to all those who step up. A quote from a pal who used to work at HISC said before the 200 Nationals "ELYC has a great name. Uncorked at hayling Island sailing club for 5 years (brilliant job didn't even know you could be employed by a sailing club!) But everyone bar none rated elyc for venue hospitality and race mgt."
The 2023 Closed Regatta was no different and on behalf of the competitors we'd like to thank John, Mick and Keith on the Committee Boat. Ellen, Brendan, Simon, Fiona, Daniel and Jon on the RIBs. Anna on the Beach and of course Ainsley, Alistair and Debbie for covering the absolutely critical Bar-and-Pies aspect of the show. Sincere apologies if we've missed anyone here. (If we have, please let us know)
On the sailing front, we were provided with sunshine, light breeze and a slightly confused sea which eventually settled as the day wore on. The race committee and RIB crews did a great job of setting and adjusting the course as the breeze shifted slightly during the day. The fleet were treated to 3 good races with two being of the triangle variety, either side of a windward leeward. Results and pictures are available below.
Thanks and well done to all!
1) Sailing Instructions
2) Final Results Silver
3) Final Results Gold
4) Pictures from the day
The map of the racing marks has been updated. You can view it here.
May Island Race Report, courtesy of Steve Fraser.
Photo album available here.
Yesterday, we took part in ELYC’s annual race around the Isle of May, far out in the Firth of Forth. Today, I’m content to relax my creaking back timbers. It took us around six hours and ten minutes to complete the circumnavigation of both the May and the mighty Bass.(we’d done the same trip in reverse in under four hours in stronger winds just two weeks previously).
The promised wind blew, we had a goodish start, narrowly beating Bill and Grace in Boracay to be first around the windward mark, thus avoiding the usual carnage, a wee stumble and then the kite flying bravely. Martin Baillie in Westaway came close, threatening a luff, Robbie Lawson and crew in Rebekah stretched out in front with McGonigal hanging on to his coat-tails by diligent and endless tweaking of the spinnaker.
The nine-strong boat fleet (a long time since ELYC raced so many simultaneous keelboats?) hung close together. We were making 6 knots over the ground past the Craig until the 30m contour. Then, slowly we separated, as the wind dropped, becoming more strung out, but all on a north-easterly course to the north end of the May. Most boats were on a line well to the north of us and evidently in different wind, which came and went. South of us the two Alistairs in Aquila came on strong, seriously narrowing the gap to Fidra (the boat) then faded as the wind dropped. The front of the main fleet to our north pulled ahead, then dropped back at the fickle dictates of the weather gods. We’d chosen a different line but converged within a few boat lengths behind Rebekah at the North Ness, carefully skirting the shoreline, sails by the lee, seals, too many to count, fishing in the tidal slack.
Iain’s speculation that there would be low turbulence in the lee of the island, (it’s a wing shape in a westerly, you see) proved to be spot-on as we gybed the kite and followed Rebekah’s fast rock-and-buoy hopping reach down the May’s eastern shore, a good 1nm at 5 knots. Still ahead at the South Ness, Rebekah (prematurely and fatefully it transpired) dropped her kite, we sailed over her, kite still up, trying to luff her and gleefully feed our dirty wind. We’d both more or less cleared the May before the next boat (Aquila) was on the downward reach. The wind dropped off as we left the May-constricted streamlines, the spinnaker tidily returned to its chute, sails set close-hauled and bow pointing well to the east of the Bass, sometimes even down the firth towards Dunbar.
We ghosted along in the light wind, never dropping below 2 knots except in brief exploratory tacks towards Fife, soon discarded. ‘It’s not a boat for pinching’ was Iain’s refrain. Go for boat speed, not height is the irresistible conclusion. To Neil’s delight, we sailed through rafts of puffins, razorbills and guillemot, noisily feasting on the bounty of the hidden deeps. Flights of gannets surface skimmed, Bass homeward or outwards on new raids. We gradually left every one else behind, paying close attention to each tiny shift, perhaps our new mainsail helped just a little bit to maintain momentum in the lulls between the weak ish puffs. I’d been obsessively studying the weather forecast all week.
The highest resolution 2km grid forecasts had predicted a large dead zone to the east of the May, to form in the afternoon, others forecasting a sea breeze filling in later. It would have a grand thing to fly the spinnaker out and then back again. But the cement factory down the Firth, a useful early weather vane stayed resolutely pluming eastward. It seems we’d got south of the May just in time to catch the last of the weak puffs, enabling us to make a good southing. Rebekah languished away to our north in what appeared to be a mirror-like flat calm. ‘Come on the wind, you’re pinching, come off the wind, was our low-wind litany, some patches of confused swell knocking the bow off-course in the light airs. Eventually only Neil could distinguish the following boats through his binoculars, distant smudges of white against deep blues and high piled cloud over the now distant cliffs of May. We heard later ( in the bar) that the rest of the fleet had sailed into a dead patch, stuck drifting in the now flooding tide.
Inevitably Jon Shaw, crewing on Mischief temporarily abandoned ship, further proving his otter-like qualities by swimming alongside. I believe they had a nice picnic on Red Lady, making the best of the dead lull. I scoffed my soggy tasteless coop sanny, slugged a tepid Diet Coke, kept on the wind (such as it was) all the while inwardly revelling in our good fortune. I can’t say for sure, it’s said that Ricky on Free Spirit slung a hammock and snoozed. David Robertson on Two Six O openly boasted of catching fresh mackerel and gloated on social media with full disclosure on method of cooking. All this was well beyond our ken. I suspect that it was at this stage that most boat’s bowed to the inexorable, lowered sail, dropped their outboards and motored home.
Meanwhile back on Fidra…..Swirling particles of fish-killing gannets spiralled overhead as we sailed on in splendid isolation around the Bass picking up a lift, then a brief stronger downdraught then inshore towards Canty Bay. We finished on the best wind of the day, beating hard all the way to the line with numerous short tacks, first inshore to catch the wind bend, then out to evade the land-spill, and then again tackling inshore as the land breeze died off further off-shore .
A brief snatch of the ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ over the marine radio was all we had heard all day, until the laconic voice of Jim Sinclair (Officer of the Day who had stayed at his solitary post well beyond his duty) welcomed us home as we blasted through the line on a final lift, Fidra making short work of the wind against tide chop. That both my crew we’re definitely overdressed for the occasion was evident when they stripped off salopettes to reveal sweat stained T-shirts whilst sinking well earned pints.
Thanks to Mike and Gerry from Team Kinsman for keeping us all safe and to all who took part. I’m nursing a quiet hope that we can rejuvenate the cruising/ racing fleet at ELYC. What a nice bunch of people. Yesterday, we made a good start! We were well on to our third pint before Rebekah made it back, the only other boat to finish. Additional brownie points to Robbie, Keith and Cameron for persistence methinks.
Congratulations to the crew of "Fidra", on winning the Brian Cameron Memorial Trophy on Saturday 17th of June .
The winning crew featured Steve "Drone Boy" Fraser, Iain "New Wellies" McGonigal and Mike "Cycled fae Haddington" Smith.
Congratulations to North Berwick High School on winning the most prestigious Scottish Schools Sailing Championship (AKA The Brown Cup) on Monday 12th June at Loch Earn Sailing Club.
There were 33 schools represented with 14 teams competing. The collaboration, sportsmanship and friendship were evident. Saturday and Sunday were coaching days followed by fires on the shore and loads of fun.
The winning team were Ben Hay and Callum Masson in their 29er (2nd in the general handicap fleet), Peter Moseley (awesome in his ILCA 6), Rory Ferrier (3rd in the general handicap and 1st ILCA). Stru sailed well in an ILCA 4.7 (thanks McKinnons) and happily photobombed the winning team shot in support of his team mates.
Please be aware that a couple of updates have been made to the keelboat racing calendar.
Both could offer great opportunities for crewing.
Derek Braid has kindly provided a selection of pictures of racing from Spring 4 on Saturday 29/04/2023. You can view them here.
Derek Braid has kindly provided us with pictures from Midweek Early 1, taken on Wednesday 23rd March. You can view them here.
Derek Braid has kindly provided us with the first pictures of the 2023 season, taken on Saturday 21st January. You can view them here.
East Lothian Yacht Club | 36-40 Victoria Road | The Harbour | North Berwick | East Lothian | EH39 4JL