RS200 Scottish Champs at Largs One Design Regatta
Part of the Rooster National Tour
Well, what a weekend! Where do I start? From the wind playing ball, the sheer number of boats and the competitiveness of the fleet, it was the perfect ingredients for come super close and exciting racing!
Over the course of the weekend the race committee did a fantastic job and managed to fire through 4 races each day. Even with the late first start of 12:35 on Saturday, the 4 races were done and dusted, and we were off the water by 17:30 allowing our newest member of the RS200 community, Anna Sturrock, to drive back to Glasgow in a soaking wetsuit to make it home in time for her friend’s graduation ball! Priorities, right?
The forecast for Saturday was for 10-15kts against tide for the first couple of races, leading to the traditional Largs waves to deal with. The perfect conditions, the fierceness of every helm/crew pairing, and the first start of the season led to the obvious… A general recall. In the words of our very own Jake Miller, we just had one too many eager beavers for the start boats liking, so back to the end of the que we go.
Second time lucky, the line is mostly clear and away we go! Once the all-important holding your lane off the start line was over and you have successfully pinched off the boat above you *cough cough* Sorry Brellen *cough cough*, it’s time to look upwind to find the windward mark, and wow, what a long way to look! Did anyone have a set of binoculars? I don’t know about anyone else, but my legs were definitely screaming by the time we got there. Brendan and Ellen were the first to master the waves as Race 1 foreshadowed the weekend for the top 4 with the finishing order matching the final results.
On the line for Race 2, we were all much more well behaved, possibly scared of the starts boat wrath after Race 1? Hence, Race 2 saw a clean start. It was the East Lothian mafia that got the better of this race with John Wilson and Laura Glover showing some real pace down wind, securing a well-earned 2nd place behind the ever present Brellen.
Race 3 saw the wind drop slightly leading to the difficult decision downwind of do we hit a planning angle or move into displacement mode and go for pure VMG. This made for some interesting snakes and ladders movements on the downwind, lots of places to make, which unfortunately for some, means lots of places to lose too. Ronald and Tor Miller showed off some moves in this race which earnt them a strong 4th place finish.
With the wind staying lighter in the prestart in race 4, the eagle-eyed among us noticed that it looked like it was going to fill in first from the left looking upwind. Now, let me just tell you how wrong we were… A slight 5° lift off the start line got us excited. The breeze filled in, twin hiking and screaming along. It was looking so promising. Was, being the key word… That 5° lift quickly turning itself into a rather large 50° righty. Not exactly ideal when you are the furthest left boat in the fleet. As we look over our shoulders at the 200s on the other side of the course, Calum exclaims that they are pointing to another planet. It was Robbie Burns and Vicky Simpson that came out the best from this, perhaps some local knowledge?? Winning their first race of the weekend and finally breaking Brellens golden run.
Overnight, The Top 5 were Brellen 1st, Robbie/Vicky 2nd, John/Laura 3rd, Gillies/India 4th and Ronald/Tor in 5th. After a great day by the top two, they seemed locked into their own battle and untouchable from anyone else. However, 3rd to 9th were all only 1 point behind the person Infront, setting up a super Sunday to remember.
On Saturday night Largs Sailing Club hosted a well earnt, lovely dinner, which was demolished and accompanied by many free beverages from our fantastic sponsor, Stewart Brewing, which makes the relentless hiking all worth it.
On Sunday morning I was woken by the ‘thwacking’ (thanks Caitlin) of the rigging within the marina, which can only mean one thing, the forecast was right, and the wind was stronger than Saturday! Despite my legs screaming at me, I was secretly excited to get on the racecourse as being arguably the heaviest boat in the fleet it favoured us!
After Discussing Brendan’s extreme chest hair room and pulling on a cold and wet wetsuit, it was time to head out for the Race 1 of day 2.
Race 5 started in a very similar way to Saturdays race 1, with a general! Once we finally get away, we were greeted with a slightly smaller beat than Saturdays but still enough to make you thankful you got to the top! With the race committee looking to get in four more races, race 5 was only 1 lap. This shortened course helped the members of the fleet who nailed the start and held their lane, which led to the brother/sister combo of Jake and Emily Miller earning their first podium with a well deserved 3rd place.
Race 6, 7 and 8 was also windy.