Action-packed week for sailors

IT HAS been an action packed week for Forfar Sailing Club.

On Tuesday, August 14, during the evening the wind was initially very light and variable, westerly backing to west south-west.

The fleet was split neatly into two groups of three Lasers and three Toppers. Racing the Lasers were the weel-kent faces of Graeme Knox, Peter Tait and Alan Cairns. A second look was required to ascertain the helms in the Toppers – Tony Walker and Cadet Jordan Sutherland, normally together in an Enterprise, and Club Commodore Jim Green, out of his Solo and into a Topper.

In an hour’s racing the Lasers are about 10 minutes faster than Toppers, so two distinct races ensued, the three Lasers ahead followed some way back by the three Toppers. Although it looks like two distinct and separate races, the winner is decided after the ‘handicap’ is worked out. Handicaps are based on national race returns, and are applied at the conclusion of the race.

The wind was fitful, and just after race officer Tony Cook hooted to finish the race, it picked up significantly from a different direction! The Lasers had crossed the line in still fairly quiet wind but we were then treated to a good finish by the Topper of Jim Green in a stronger breeze, not however enough on handicap to prevent Graeme winning, with Peter second. Jim came third and Alan fourth.

A special mention must be made of Jordan, who completed the race in tricky conditions, albeit with a little advice from Tony.

On Thursday, August 16, two members appeared for the pursuit race and having looked at their reflection in the mirror like surface decided they had come, they had seen, but any attempt at conquering was not worth it and the race was abandoned pre start.

In a six boat turnout on Sunday, August 18, like Tuesday some weel-kent faces were in unusual craft, for them anyway.

Malcolm Heron was testing a club Wayfarer single handed and Jim Green, in adventurous mood, swapped Solo for Laser. The former made a good choice as the club boats have a local handicap.

Malcolm is deadly in the conditions for the day, the now familiar light, variable and at times maddening winds, this time from something like an easterly direction, although matters were overseen by Tony Cook, once again master of ceremonies as race officer.

At the start of the first race Malcolm, maybe forgetting what he was sailing, charged along the line with his large boat, totally against the rules and only avoided mowing down smaller competition by crossing before the gun, forcing him to return. Graeme Knox and Alan Cairns (laser) broke free and led for a while followed by Jim Green and Murray Hadden in the remaining Lasers and David Smith in his Enterprise until Jim, sailing a boat far less forgiving than his familiar armchair thriller, capsized in a slight gust.

The battle raged at the front as Malcolm clawed past Lasers, blanketing on runs and creating dreadful turbulence on beats. In the end, after handicap adjustment, it was a clear win for Malcolm followed by Graeme, Alan, Jim who had fought back into the pack, David, and then Murray who had fallen into a huge hole and sunbathed for a while without going anywhere.

The second race was more closely fought. The Enterprise made a great start and in clear air was first round the windward mark followed by Malcolm and Graeme in quick succession while the remaining Lasers became embroiled in a class match.

This time Malcolm, a Laser sailor by default, sat on the smaller Enterprise on the run allowing Graeme to skip past to windward of both before Malcolm challenged for the lead and a little and large show ensued, the smaller more manoeuvrable boat trying to avoid the larger one taking his wind. Malcolm prevailed to take line honours and the win ahead of Graeme.

The front clawed away enough to pip the Enterprise into third while Murray outmanoeuvred Alan near the line for fourth and fifth respectively. Despite being in a difficult Olympic class Jim was scarily close behind the other Lasers but remains unconvinced about trading up to this more demanding class.

There is racing on Tuesday and Thursday as normal however next Sunday is a Training Day.