Weather fails to dampen local sailors’ enthusiasm

Damp summer days and continuing light winds were again in evidence at Forfar loch last week.

Most Laser sailors, unless very proficient in light airs or with an unseen possession of black arts, struggle to sail to handicap in such conditions, and with none of these attributes the three Lasers present for the race last Tuesday didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when they stalled on the line, having seen slower boats precede them in a pursuit race into a fickle westerly zephyr.

Their miseries were compounded as they tried to catch, in order of starting, Jim Green and Hamish Whyte in Solos, Tony Walker and Jordan Sutherland in an Enterprise and Brian Finnie in a Europe.

Craig Knox had the worst Laser start and eventually gave up trying to find the wind ghost and retired.

Brian, recently returned to the loch, was off his usual pace and was eventually overhauled by Graeme Knox and, at the last moment, Alan Cairns in the struggling Lasers.

The most entertainment was at the front where Tony briefly challenged for the lead.

However, Hamish, fast enough in Lasers when he sailed them, showed his defection to the slower class carried no loss of form as, at the end, he was so far ahead he was even further than at the start.

There was no racing on Thursday (as indeed there is not for July) although four people who had not checked the calendar turned up.

Sunday dawned and the wind conditions were no kinder, only from the opposite direction.

Murray Hadden and Melanie Edmunds, recent members, did their first stint as race officers and presided over another mixed fleet.

David Smith (Firefly), Jim Green (Solo), Craig and Graeme Knox (Laser) were joined by the lesser spotted Sally and Malcolm Heron in Solo and Laser respectively.

Lesser spotted, however, should not mean out of sight out of mind as, in the first race, Malcolm bucked the trend and emulated Hamish Whyte to dominate proceedings, finishing minutes ahead of the next boat, Craig in his Laser.

Sally in her Solo was third on handicap, having been physically ahead of Graeme Knox’s Laser on at least two occasions and he had to settle for fifth, having also been usurped by Jim Green while David Smith took sixth.

The second race showed much promise with slightly more wind at the start.

However, the conditions rapidly returned to light and variable.

Having not made an early escape Malcolm did make it to the front of the fleet but this time did not escape and was being hunted by Graeme.

However, on the final lap, Craig quietly and efficiently slipped past Graeme then, near the finish, maintained his nerve to take line honours from his more experienced contemporaries.

In a final twist, Sally, who had also maintained her nerve and composure, took first place on handicap to make in a Heron clean sweep. Craig had to settle for second, Malcolm third, Graeme fourth and Jim fifth.

There is no racing on Thursdays for the rest of the month and the final Sunday race of the second series is this weekend.