four boats set out on a rain soaked night into an easterly breeze at Forfar Sailing Club - the Lasers of Craig Knox and Alan Cairns, Tony Walker in his Enterprise and Jim Green in a Solo.
All had a go at leading on the first beat, with Tony just edging Alan at the top mark.
Alan squeezed past Tony on the run and Jim overtook Craig. Tony kept close to Alan through much of the first two laps and Jim kept in touch with the leading pair, looking very competitive on handicap.
Craig did not find the conditions to his liking and did not close the gap with the supposedly slower Solo and Enterprise, eventually retiring at the end of the third lap.
The remainder finished were very close on handicap, Alan one second a lap ahead of Tony who pipped Jim by just two seconds a lap.
Forfar Sailing Club sailors are made of stern stuff and it was highly unusual to have a race abandoned because of personal injury.
Thus it was on Thursday evening when only two members engaged in the programmed Pursuit Race – Alan Cairns, Laser, and Jim Green, Solo.
The breeze came basically from the south, but flirtatiously swung towards both east and west and, for good measure, threw repeated strong gusts interspersed with quiet patches.
This made it hard work for the sailors, as Jim set off, followed a couple of minutes later by Alan, who looked like having a job to catch the Solo when, unfortunately, after 20 minutes, he had to retire due to back strain caused one of the outrageous gusts. The race was abandoned.
A light westerly on Sunday afternoon saw the four Lasers of Craig and Graeme Knox, Alan Cairns and Murray Hadden line up against Duncan Brown in the Club Laser (racing in it for the first time) and Angus Beyts in his Harrier +, in the first of two races.
Whilst Alan had a good start, he was overtaken by Graeme, who then in turn was overtaken by Angus.
Craig, meanwhile, was slowed up by his having to take a two-circle penalty after nudging the Harrier.
Angus led for the first lap in spite of a self-inflicted diversion to a non-course mark!
He was eventually passed by the Laser mafia in the form of Graeme, Alan and Craig.
Murray struggled to regain his speed after a dry capsize in rising wind at the end of the first lap, while Duncan made slow progress at the rear, not having raced for a year or two.
The end result was Graeme taking first, Alan second, Craig third, followed by Angus, Murray and Duncan.
For the second race, OOD Jim Green left the course unchanged. The previous racers were this time joined by new member Dennis Burgin in his newly acquired Solo, out for its “maiden race.”
Having previously taken part in races, Dennis knew the drill, but had the additional handicap of getting to know his boat.
In another interesting twist, Craig and Graeme Knox opted to swap boats for this race, Craig no doubt seeing great potential to outsail dad in the latter’s super-tuned Laser.
Whilst he led the pack at the windward mark, closely followed by Angus, the wind began to drop again and to shift seriously, creating bunching up and opportunities for position-changing.
Graeme then had the lead from Craig, with Angus and Murray close behind.
Dennis was doing well to be next, followed by Alan, who, it turned out, had briefly gone for a swim. Duncan again took up the rear.
The wind, having been steadily in the west thus far, veered now into the north-west and north, changing the dynamics of the course to give short beats and long reaches.
Up front, Angus and Graeme enjoyed a race of their own, Craig behind in a tussle with Alan, and Murray also had his sights on the leaders.
Perversely, the wind continued to veer to an easterly, giving Dennis, well behind Murray, a swift run in to the line.
Jim congratulated Dennis on winning the race on handicap, a notable achievement in a new boat.
Graeme secured second, and Angus third. Craig, Alan and Murray crossed the line in that order within nine seconds, and Duncan duly came seventh.
New members will be pleased to know that the race training day, abandoned on Saturday, June 23, has been rescheduled to Sunday, July 8, starting at 11 am.