Forfar Sailing Club Regatta 2011 will be recalled by all who attended as a great event, the elements conspiring to provide everyone with their own memories.
Bright sunshine and unseasonal warmth meant no bleak skies or rain, nor any fear of chill, so although competitors were comfortable the wind threw in challenges and made sailing anything but straight forward.
The visiting Scottish Enterprise fleet, although represented in slightly lower numbers than previous years, brought some of their best sailors and some not from Scotland, the event still attracting crews from south of the border.
There were sufficient Lasers to form a fleet, although these were Forfar boats as there were no outside challengers, the only consolation being the winner would, for the first time in a few years, be guaranteed to be local!
The third fleet was mixed, mainly comprising Solos and again mostly local.
Race Officers Shona Wood and Marjory Knowles took charge with no hitches or problems and seamlessly presided over the fleets while Safety Boat driver Graham Topping was an ever present reassurance on the water. Gayle and Kate Adams, Jean Cook and Irene Green provided catering which has become renowned as amongst the best for dinghy sailors in the land.
On day ONE a south westerly wind, sieved through lochside trees, threw the most challenging conditions at competitors with swirling gusts and sudden lulls the norm.
The Enterprises’ blue sails made a magnificent sight, often in close proximity, battling each other around the course, and they all stayed upright!
They were followed by the Lasers, a much less forgiving creature amongst who there were many capsizes, chaotic moments and similar close proximity battles, then the mixed fleet who similarly offered interesting moments to both competitor and spectator alike.
The “legendary ceilidh” in the evening quenched thirsts, then built them up again during a different type of close proximity manoeuvres.
The wind on day two had swung further to the south and was even more tricky and variable, indeed a beat in one of the races was perfectly described by a Laser sailor as like being in a washing machine, with boats twisting and turning violently to try to avoid capsizing in gale force gusts battering them from various directions. Overall the wind was not as strong and in the final race, when all boats competed together, the Enterprises easily dominated and the pennant was won by a Newcastle boat under Loz Young (Tynemouth SC)
Results could probably have been predicted but nevertheless hard won.
In the Enterprise fleet Charles and Alison Morrish (St Mary’s Loch SC) regained the trophy - having relinquished it last year to a visiting former world champion. They were followed by R. & M. Denny, Ely S.C. and L. Young & E. Coleman, Tynemouth S.C.
First local Enterprise was Tony Cook who had Eleanor Geddes as his crew for the weekend.
In the Laser Class club Commodore Tony Cook was first, despite having had most capsizes of all boats (about eight in total), followed by Graeme Knox who had been forced to sail very conservatively and had none, then Alan Cairns who had likewise remained virtually unscathed.
The mixed fleet prizes went to Solos, Nick Whyte taking first and retaining the Condor Binnacle, followed by Sally Heron and Jim Green.
Once more Forfar Sailing Club had run a successful event for which it can be proud and visitors and members look forward to more of the same in future.