Dennis Burgin launched his Solution and Jim Green his Solo for Thursday evening’s Pursuit Race at Forfar Sailing Club – the minimum number for a race!
The wind amounted to a light south-easterly breeze while the boats were being rigged, but died to an “air movement” at the start time, promising a challenging sail.
As Jim set off almost three minutes ahead of Dennis, that quickly became apparent, with both sailors struggling to windward and having to endure a lengthy first lap.
Dennis made virtually no progress on Jim until beating up for the second lap, when it seemed that an overtake was likely. However, the wind, such as it was, increased by a notch; Jim pulled away again, and positions remained so until the 50-minute whistle, when not even a second lap had been completed.
A beautiful spring evening perhaps, but one to test the patience of any sailor.
The 2014 Forfar Sailing Club Opening Regatta took place on Saturday in light easterlies.
A Laser (Alan Cairns), a Firefly (Dave Smith), a Solution (Dennis Burgin), a Merlin Rocket (sailed single-handed by Angus Beyts) and two Solos (Jim Green and Tony Walker) took to the water for the first race, but only five boats made it to the start.
The Solution of Dennis Burgin suffered gear failure and he retired from the fray. Meanwhile the Commodore (Malcolm Heron), suffering from a heavy cold, stayed ashore and provided assistance to the race officer.
The race started cleanly and the pack headed off to Z mark, where Jim was first round, followed closely by Alan, Angus, Dave and Tony. The light and variable wind resulted in several place changes through the race, especially during the upwind legs, and the end result, after adjustment for handicap, was Tony, followed by Jim, Dave, Alan and Angus.
The wind picked up and steadied somewhat after lunch. The Commodore decided that, regardless of his cold, he also wanted to sail, so took part in the afternoon sailing.
Six boats again started the second race, this time two Lasers, two Solos, a Firefly and a Merlin Rocket. Jim beat everyone to the first mark, and rounded it cleanly. Alan and Tony were close behind, but parked at the buoy and watched the entire fleet pass them as they struggled to find the wind. Once all were round the mark the rest of the race was less eventful. Malcolm took the lead before the end of the first lap, and never lost it. The single-handed Merlin Rocket found the stronger breeze too much to handle, and retired during the first lap having shipped water several times. The final places were Malcolm, Alan, Jim, Tony and Dave, in that order.
It started raining gently just before the third race, and the wind dropped slightly, though it was still more consistent than earlier in the day. Malcolm got the best start with the rest of the fleet close behind. The two Lasers led, followed by the two Solos, and the Firefly - and this is exactly the order the boats should be, based on their handicap. The tussle between Malcolm and Alan was won by Alan, and that between Jim and Tony by Tony. After taking handicaps into account, the final positions were Alan, Malcolm, Tony, Jim and Dave.
Overall, taking into account the best two results, the winner was Alan, followed by Malcolm, then Tony.
On Saturday (May 3) the Club will be having (weather permitting) an Open Day, running from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. This is the perfect opportunity to go and try sailing. Experienced helmsmen will take you out in a two-person boat, and the occasion is open to all. It is advisable to wear soft-soled shoes that you won’t mind getting wet, and also waterproof clothing. Buoyancy aids will be provided by the club. To help club funds, a tearoom will be provided, open to all-comers. Please note that children under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.