Bluebell Traveller at Largo Bay SC 22/23 June 2024

Fourteen Enterprises entered for this round of the Bluebell series at one of the best sea sailing areas in Scotland. Special mention to Callum Gibb for drumming up support for this event.


The forecast had underplayed the eventual wind which was a 5 gusting 6 from the SW, conditions which were very challenging for new sailors in the fleet


Race 1

After a general recall the fleet got away at the second time of asking. Charles Morrish & Dan Swaffield started well, went left and led at the windward mark. There was close racing behind, with a number of swims and breakages caused by the conditions. Neal Piper and daughter Ellen came in second followed by Loz Young & Ellie Roger with Paul Young & Duncan Willoughby in fourth.


Race 2

Neal & Ellen had control of the committee boat end of the line and kept Charles & Dan out. The St Mary’s sailors were forced to the right to find clear wind and luckily for them it paid and they got round the windward mark just ahead of the pack. The fleet headed down the first reach amid spray and waves, when Dan, glancing back, observed he had ‘never seen an Enterprise capsize like that!’. Loz & Ellie had come to grief just behind the leading boat. The next two beats were hotly contested between Neal and Charles before Neal met with an unfortunate incident involving a Moth from another fleet. Apart from the leaders, Paul & Duncan, along with Callum Gibb & Hamish Fowlie were the main beneficiaries of Neal’s mishap, as Neal slipped to fourth after completing his turns. Callum & Hamish pulled through to finish second ahead of Paul & Duncan.


Race 3

This was probably the windiest race of the day. Again Charles & Dan got away well to lead to the windward mark. They were too busy flying down the second reach to see the entertainment behind them at the wing mark as four boats approached together. Jo Morrison & Emma Coleman and Callum & Hamish successfully completed gybes, while Paul and Neal decided on the safer option of wearing round. Neal & Ellen were dropping back as a result of a damaged kicker. Paul & Duncan sailed very strongly to pull through to second and put considerable pressure on Charles & Dan who just hung on to win. Behind them Callum & Hamish were third and Scammonden sailors Olly Boocock & Luke Hartshorn, fourth


The exhausted sailors were treated to an excellent BBQ by the club and free beer, courtesy of Callum’s sponsorship deal with Loch Fyne Brewery.


Sunday dawned with sunshine and a lighter breeze which built from F1 to F3 and went left as the day progressed.


Race 4

After a brief postponement due to the shifting breeze, Neal & Ellen got away well as did Paul & Duncan and Morven Dunn, crewed by dad, Euan. Charles & Dan, had gone back to restart.

Neal & Ellen led at the windward mark, followed by Paul & Duncan. Meanwhile Charles & Dan had got back into the mix and were enjoying close racing with Morven & Euan along with Gerry Goodfellow & Roger Willoughby who had been unable to join in Saturday’s fun. Neal & Ellen were never headed and went on to take the win. Meanwhile Charles & Dan eventually got past Morven and closed in on Paul who just hung on to second place. Morven held off Gerry & Roger for a well deserved fourth place.


Race 5 

This time Charles & Dan got their timing right and got away well along with Neal & Ellen and Morven & Euan. When the others tacked off the St Mary’s sailors held on left which paid and got them to the windward mark first. Neil & Ellen pushed the leaders hard and took second while Gerry pulled through to take third from Paul just at the finish.


Race 6

At this point Charles & Dan had an unassailable lead and swapped seats for race 6.  Isaac Lewis crewed by dad Mike, in their first sea event, were the surprise package, arriving first to the windward mark with Neal & Ellen and Loz & Ellie in close order. Neal & Ellen took the lead down the reach with Loz & Ellie following. Isaac and Mike held on to a top three place for two laps before eventually slipping back. Gerry & Roger again took third, pushing Paul & Duncan back to fourth.


While Saturday had been particularly challenging, Sunday was kinder and a great feature of the weekend was the close racing throughout the fleet.

Thanks again to Largo Bay SC for an excellently managed event, up to their usual high standards.

(Image Courtesy of Donald Aitkin)