Solway Open Meeting 12th & 13th June
From International Moths to the Laser Grand Prix and both the Olympic Finns and the National 12 Scottish Championships; all in one weekend!
The fleet enjoying the conditions
If variety is the spice of life, the Solway Yacht Club’s June Open meeting certainly had it all. From the ultra-lightweight, Lowrider Moths slicing through the waves at phenomenal speed to the heavier, Finn class powering away, the Lakeland Laser Grand Prix and the National 12 Class Scottish Championship races and many more, it was a very busy weekend in Kippford.
The Open weekend had attracted a big entry with all sorts of boats from opposite ends of the UK; Hayling Island on the English south coast, another from Wales, others from all over Scotland, including some outstanding sailors, particularly John Greenwood in the Finns, a double Worlds Masters Champion. The weather was promising and by early on Saturday the pier was a hive of activity. Starting with the essentials, the competitors were briefed by Principal Race Officer, Chris Nurney and his team. To make the numbers manageable, boats were divided into four groups with four separate starts, three minutes apart for each race. First off were the fast handicap class incorporating the Moths, Flying Fifteen keelboats and others. Next up the Finns, the big entry necessitating their own start, then the Laser Grand Prix and finally the medium handicap fleet including the National 12s. The gusty westerly wind made for challenging conditions with several capsizes and many incidents, but the glorious late Spring sunshine ensured there was plenty of great sailing. After one long race, the course was changed to make best use of the wind conditions but with big windshifts and strength varying from virtually calm to fierce gusts, crews had to sharp to make the best of it. With all the races being run from the Club’s “Starting Hut” on The Merse, bringing the fleets close inshore, it was quite a spectacle for the many visitors to Kippford over the weekend.
Day 2 and a change in the wind now from the South gave a much steadier and more favourable conditions. Sadly, the change also now meant overcast skies and gone was the early summer sunshine. In the National 12s, very close racing between the top four continued with Mark and Emma Simpson just ahead when it mattered.
Race 4, the decider, and it seemed that Philip David and Emma Hampshire had won and done enough to clinch the Scottish Championship but from video evidence from the start line and with Flag U flying, sadly for them they had been OCS when it mattered, so were disqualified. Further down the fleet in the older “Admiral’s Cup” classification, Angus Beyts and Berry Berhane had held off Ian and Margaret Purkis to pick up the “Mariner Mug” trophy, very well deserved as Angus has been one of the most loyal and consistent competitors over many years, regularly supporting the Solway YC events.
With the weather deteriorating fast, prize-giving was a Covid compliant outdoor event held in the pouring rain, and despite some confusion, it hopefully didn’t spoil what had been a great weekend of very competitive sailing.
Winners - Mark & Emma Simpson
1st Mark & Emma Simpson N3472 (RYA)
2nd Philip David and Emma Hampshire N3499 (Yorkshire Ouse SC)
3rd Tim and Christopher Hampshire N3502 (Ripon SC)
4th Patrick Hamilton and Gayle Kaye N3475 (Burwain SC)
5th Angus Beyts and Berry Berhane N3411 (Newburgh SC)
6th Ian and Margaret Purkis N1620 (Solway YC)