UNSEASONABLY strong winds abated by Tuesday, which was good news for racers at Forfar Sailing Club.
Nick Whyte, just back from a several hundred mile yacht voyage, was race officer.
He and his crew members Tony Walker and Tony Cook had been at sea in force 10 winds in a 45ft ketch, powered by a sail reefed to the size of a Lasers!
On the water the Tonys had less legroom in their dinghies, Laser and Enterprise respectively,
Tony Walker’s was the only one of its class (with young crew Jordan Sutherland) while Tony Cook was amongst peers Alan Cairns (in his first race of the year) Peter Tait, and Graeme Knox.
Jim Green was again the only Solo and new members David and Anna Sturrock, whose Kestrel is berthed elsewhere, took to the water in a club Wayfarer.
Stronger winds bring more incidents and there were many.
Jim capsized a couple of times to put him not only at the back of the fleet but put his back out.
Tony Walker, having been at sea for days without a scratch, was caught on a gybe, capsized and turned turtle, the mast digging into the muddy bottom of the loch while worse, the boom had caught his nose giving him a nasty cut.
Local Laser sailors are convinced Peter Tait, who was in the top eight of the Scottish Laser Travellers last year, uses Forfar as a testing ground.
His antics, particularly down-wind, are notoriously unusual, but usually quicker than his more conservative class-mates.
He was in the Laser pack and it was with slightly evil and smug feelings they noted him performing an impressive downwind coup which allowed them to escape.
Later Tony Cook was rapidly approaching the front on the final beat, but it was Graeme’s turn to have a slightly evil and smug grin when Tony had a very messy capsize near the mark allowing Graeme enough margin to clinch first.
He was followed by Tony Cook, a frighteningly quick Alan Cairns, Peter, David and Jim, Tony Walker having retired.
Thursday had similar conditions to Tuesday. Jim Green appeared but, with recent injury persisting, offered to be race officer and presided over four Lasers, Tony Cook, Alan Cairns, Craig and Graeme Knox.
Alan and Graeme had a battle at the front while Craig was holding onto Tony until a misunderstanding, not actually his fault, caused him to miss a mark and on gybing to return suffered the same fate as Tony Walker two days earlier.
Damaged, he resumed racing with Tony but was already technically disqualified, having received outside assistance.
Further ahead Alan was just behind Graeme until gear failure stopped his race for a few minutes.
Graeme hung around and they continued their battle literally to the line where Graeme crossed one second ahead of Alan.
Sunday saw the largest fleet to date, including many of the usual suspects from midweek, who were pleased to see the return of Malcolm Heron (Laser) and Sally Heron (Solo), along with Murray Hadden (Laser) and the Lauder family who had come again from deepest, darkest Elgin for the day sailing their Enterprise and a Topper.
In a fitful easterly wind the start is crucial. Alan Cairns and Malcolm Heron chose the right spot and shot away, never to be seen again, much to the annoyance of the others as they have had virtually no practice this year!
Peter Tait, Graeme and Craig Knox struggled through the pack of allegedly slower boats before making good ground, despite the odd spot of bickering.
Sally lacked a similar boat to gauge her progress, as did Robert Lauder another Enterprise.
Murray, in his first season, wrestled with Laser foibles in variable wind while Duncan Lauder was similarly bemused in his Topper. Such was the finishing order.
The second race was little different with Lasers again making a clean sweep.
Once more the start made all the difference and this time Graeme hit the spot and disappeared.
However, later overhauled from second in the fleet by Malcolm and Alan respectively, Craig could have been deemed unlucky while Peter must have again been using test procedures as he was, unusually, left behind for fifth.
Sally was consistent for another sixth, as were Robert, Murray and Duncan who tallied the same positions as the first trial.
There is racing as usual on Thursday.
However, the club training weekend takes place this Saturday and Sunday, and places are fully booked.
Members can come and have a free sail, safety cover will be present.
However, please be mindful that the training team and trainees will be using all club boats and facilities.