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Solway Open Meeting  

Double Championship weekend in Kippford

14th & 15th Sept


While there is still the Solway Yacht Club championship to settle, this weekend saw the final Open events in Kippford with the magnificent Scottish Daily Express National 12 Championship trophy, first awarded in 1953, up for winning. In parallel, the Club also again hosted the Scottish Finn class championship and while these were two-day events, on Saturday the fleet was expanded with the Club’s Laser Open joining the fray.

Mark and Anna Simpson

National 12 meets Finn: Mark and Anna Simpson in close company with Stewart Mitchell’s Finn. Photo by John Sproat

Saturday dawned with strong and very gusty winds from the South West as the fleet set out to the Race Committee boat anchored out in the Solway. The National 12s and Finns were competing in a six-race series and immediately it was the familiar, very fast, multicoloured National 12 of father and daughter crew of Mark and Anna Simpson who started a clean sweep of wins in every race, truly in a class of their own. Nevertheless, the race for the remaining podium places was extremely close, father and son crew of Tim and Christopher Hampshire being claiming second in race 1 but Tony Dufton and Matthew Foster crossing the line six seconds ahead to take second spot in race 2.

Meanwhile, in the very gusty and shifty conditions, the safety crews were being kept very busy with almost every boat suffering capsizes but most recovering well. Even the Simpson crew had a capsize but they managed to keep theirs between races so not when it mattered. By Race 3 in the pattern was established with the Simpsons winning again, the Hampshires second but now it was Neil McInnes and his Solway YC Cadet crew Mhairi McFadzean who took third spot.

As is now well established, and big thanks to volunteer chef Willie Patterson and his team, a superb Mediterranean themed evening social followed. This had everyone enjoying good food and great company with a very happy mix of different fleets sailors, their families and local SYC members.

Mark and Anna Simpson

winners of the Scottish Daily Express National 12 Championship trophy , presented by Jacquie Tosh, wife of Club Commodore Lindsay (Photo by Anne-Marie Williams)

Day 2 with less wind there was great sailing. Again, it was the Simpson and Hampshire crews that set the pace but further down the fleet racing was very close with Ian and Margaret Purkis getting past the McInnes/McFadzean crew on the last lap to get third in race 4, only to have positions reversed in race 5. The final race of the series had the Purkis crew off to a great start and giving the Hampshire crew a close race with the very consistent McInnes/McFadzean and Dufton/Foster crews all in close contention. Not far behind was the rapidly improving Beyts / Copeman pairing in Angus Beyts’ experimental foiling Pipedream which shows great potential for the future. By the conclusion, the Hampshires again took second from the Purkis crew and Dufton/Foster in 4th. Sadly, the sole representative of the vintage National 12s, sailed by class stalwarts, Brian Herring and Ros Stevenson were eliminated in race 4 by a nasty capsize at the gybe mark but transfer to the Committee boat by the safety team had them well cared for while their boat was towed home.

Prizegiving was a somewhat familiar affair with the magnificent trophy going to the Simpson family once more. However, the Mariner Mug, awarded to the highest place Admirals Cup boat went to a most welcome new home, awarded this year to Tim and Christopher Hampshire in their first visit to Kippford. Finally, as is tradition, the most keenly fought over trophy of all, the Ladybird Book of Sailing, awarded annually to the daftest contribution to the weekend had multiple nominees; Ian Purkis on day 1 for apparently dumping his wife Margaret for a preferred SYC Cadet crew, only for Ian to decide it was a bit too windy and justify retiring by claiming his young crew felt seasick; Mark Simpson for winning by such as large margin that he fell asleep while waiting for the next start and drifted onto the sandbank only to be awoken when the boat capsized, but it was Angus Beyts ‘ prize for his unique achievement of fitting a foiling rudder to a rather elderly Pipedream only to be foiled by his own foiler!



Overall results

Tim & Christopher Hampshire

proud winners of the Admiral’s Cup “Mariner Mug”, presented by Jacquie Tosh, wife of Club commodore Lindsay (Photo by Anne-Marie Williams)

 Scottish National 12 Championship

1st Mark and Anna Simpson (Scaling Dam SC)

2nd Tim and Christopher Hampshire (Ripon SC)

3rd Neil McInnes and Mhairi McFadzean (Yeadon SC / Solway YC)

4th Tony Dufton and Matthew Foster (Yeadon SC)

5th Ian and Margaret Purkis (Solway SC)

6th Angus Beyts and Bruce Copeman (Newburgh SC / Solway YC)

7th Brian Herring and Ros Stevenson (Winsford Flash SC)