Fifteen Streakers entered for this year's East Lothian Yacht Club regatta including eight home boats. The event was very much a game of two halves - particularly for the Streaker fleet. Saturday saw the fleet arrive an easterly gusting over 30knots - so much wind that the Race Officers had to postpone the first start for an hour or two to give the wind chance to moderate. Once the fleets were released to the more sheltered course to the west of Bass Rock racing got underway with a trapezoid course consisting of a starboard tack dead into the waves and a port tack along them followed by a screaming reach across the rollers, an interesting run (set perfectly) and a close reach to the leeward mark. Paul Rigg (ELYC) and James Whitehead (Filey SC) dominated the race from start to finish with excellent boat handling in the conditions, which were enough to deter all but the foolhardy half dozen Streakers who took part. John Hookway (ELYC) showed his familiarity with the conditions by coming a creditable third in the first race. Paul Rigg took line honours and was clearly ready for more.
Race two saw the same course and a very similar wind to the first race. Paul and James romped away, Dan Phillips (Ripon SC) and Ian Bradley (Ouse Amateur SC) fought out the first beat with Ian getting there first but clipping the mark - Dan took full advantage of this to get well ahead on the reach and into third place. Ian Bradley misjudged his gybe on the run and a passing wave was happy to help him to provide some entertainment for anyone who cared to watch which allowed Charles Adams (West Lancs YC) through to take fourth place.Â
Sunday was a complete contrast. A beautiful sunny morning brought a light, shifty wind which meant the Race Officer had to abort the starting sequence moments before the first start as a massive shift changed the beat to a beam reach. Once the wind settled down the fleet of thirteen got away, with Ian Bradley pipping Paul Rigg and John Hookway to the first mark which allowed him clear air to draw ahead of the fleet. Paul Rigg and John Hookway had a good scrap for second which Paul won, In the main pack there were plenty of tussles, with the beat into the strong tide giving an extra challenge. The second race of the day saw Paul Rigg, John Hookway and Paul Noble arrive first to the windward mark when the port side payed dividends. Paul retained a good lead until the end and Ian Bradley worked his way through over the two laps to take second from John Hookway within yards of the finish. The race over, the Race Officer looked at the wind prospects and ended the racing for the day as the sea breeze fought with the gradient wind and caused total confusion.Â
The overall result was that Paul Rigg took the Scottish National title, becoming the first ever Streaker Scottish National Champion. Ian Bradley climbed to second and local John Hookway represented the home fleet on the podium. The visitors thanked the host club for a well organised series in testing conditions at an excellent venue - we'll be back next year to meet up with the friends new and old that we have made at this most hospitable club.